Thursday forecast: Warm and dry conditions continue

PHOENIX – Near average temperatures will continue in the Valley of the Sun into the weekend. The shortwave trough that knocked temperatures down Wednesday has moved east and weakened the pressure gradient, allowing breezes to back off. Some high clouds can be expected through Saturday, before a major Pacific high pressure ridge pushes into the desert Southwest.

Overnight temperatures will bottom out in the 50s, with Thursday’s high in the mid 80s. The UV index level will hit 9, which means it will take about 15 minutes until unprotected skin begins to burn. Clouds will increase throughout the day as a disturbance scoots across northern Arizona Thursday night, lowering temperatures again on Friday.

Flagstaff and communities along the Mogollon Rim will be in the lows 30s overnight. Payson, Prescott and Sedona will bottom out in the 40s. Sedona will top out at 74 Thursday, and upper 50s can be expected in Flagstaff and the Grand Canyon. Tucson can expect low-50s at sunrise, with highs across southern Arizona reaching the low- to mid-80s.

Next week is shaping up to bring the Valley our first 90s of the year. As of Wednesday, it has been 157 days since Phoenix Sky Harbor International has reached 90 degrees. The high pressure ridge will continue to build early next week, and highs could easily climb into the mid-90s before another cold front nudges temperatures back into the 80s.

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