November has arrived and we still seek shade as the warmest October on record yields to a warm — but at least not sizzling — start to the new month.
It will cool off Tuesday, Nov. 1, with high temperatures in the low 80s — still a few degrees above normal.
High temperatures will remain in the 80s through the week, four to six degrees above normal. Low temperatures, in the mid-to-upper 50s, will be about 10 degrees higher than normal, said Greg Mollere of the National Weather Service.
At least we’re in the 80s and not the 90s, he said.
If you suspected that October was abnormally warm, you are correct.
It was the warmest October on record for Tucson, with an average high of 92.4, an average low of 62.5 and a median of 77.4 degrees.
That median temperature is 6.4 degrees above normal and 0.6 of a degree higher than the previous record, set in 1952, according to the weather service.
The high temperature for the month came on Thursday, Oct. 27, when it hit 97 degrees in Tucson and 100 degrees in Phoenix — the latest such marks for both cities.
Phoenix recorded 28 days at 90 degrees or above; Tucson, 25 days.
The elevated fall temperatures have delayed winter planting, allowed mosquitoes to persist and fooled some cacti and other plants into blooming out of season.
Theresa Crimmins, assistant director of the USA National Phenology Network, said she has even received a few reports of saguaros in bloom, a phenomenon that usually occurs only in late spring.
Folks are also complaining about the persistent mosquito menace this fall, she said.
David Ludwig, who directs the county’s vector-control program, said he is still trapping and catching mosquitoes at a time of year when he’d usually be putting those traps away. “They’re not dying off quickly enough,” he said.
Ludwig said it’s been an active year for the program, which set out three times the normal number of traps and trapped a higher percentage of aedes Aegypti mosquitoes, those ankle-biting nuisances that can carry Zika (but not in Arizona, so far) and other mosquito-borne diseases.
Ludwig, who also manages the county’s food inspections, said the weather has also taken its toll on restaurants, with refrigerators still struggling to keep food at legally required temperatures.
He said mobile vendors have also complained that the heat has depressed sales at local festivals and events that should be filled with winter visitors and year-round residents emerging from summer hibernation.
This week, with its lower temperatures, some cloud cover and a slight chance of rain by midweek, could lure more Arizonans from their homes.