Thursday forecast: Hot, with a high pollution advisory

PHOENIX – A strong ridge of high pressure will build in over the next few days, pushing temperatures past seasonal averages in many locations. Friday will be the hottest day, with a cooling trend beginning this weekend and temperatures returning to near normal next week.

Skies will remain clear and breezes will stay calm as the ridge builds in, but air quality will be a concern in metro Phoenix for the rest of the week. The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality has issued a high pollution advisory for Thursday, meaning people with sensitive respiratory conditions should limit their time outside. AZDEQ also recommends carpooling, refueling after sunset and avoiding idling situations, such as drive-thrus.

Temperatures in the Valley will bottom out in the upper 60s overnight, then climb into the upper 90s Thursday afternoon. UV levels will be high, which means unprotected skin will begin to burn in 15 minutes. Using a sunscreen of at least an SPF 30 or greater is recommended.

There will be no freezes across the state Wednesday night, but temperatures in Flagstaff and the Grand Canyon will dip into the upper 30s. Payson, Prescott and Sedona will touch the 50s. Highs across the high country will be in the 70s and 80s. Tucson will cool to 62 overnight and rebound to 94 Thursday afternoon.

Phoenix on Friday will likely hit 100 degrees for the first time this year, and we could tie the record of 101 set in 1992. Temperatures will begin to back off slightly over the weekend as the next cold front comes through. Rain chances are possible across northern Arizona, but the Valley looks to remain dry for the next seven days.

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