More than 40 flights have been canceled in Phoenix due to record-high temperatures on June 20 because some aircraft can’t function at temperatures above 118 degrees.
The canceled flights are part of the airline’s regional flight system, and are operated by other carriers that use Bombardier aircraft, which are not permitted to fly when temperatures exceeding 118 degrees, American Airlines said.
Smaller aircraft, such as those made by Bombardier, are more vulnerable to heat than larger, more powerful aircraft. Heat expands the air, making it less dense, and reduces lift.
Phoenix is experiencing one of the worst heatwaves in decades. The temperature reached 118 degrees on Monday, which ties with a record set last year. The National Weather Service (NWS) sent out a tweet to mark the event.
On Tuesday, was forecasted to reach 120 degrees, or 49 degrees Celsius. NWS is already tracking Tuesday’s temperature against the three hottest days on record.
In June of 1990, the average temperatures reached a peak at 122 degrees, making it the hottest month on record. That month, the temperature reached 123 degrees, the hottest day since weather records have been kept in 1895.
Excessive heat warnings have been issued in many in many parts of California and Arizona. The National Weather Service is using a special magenta color on its map to denote the extreme temperatures, which it says are “rare, dangerous, and very possibly deadly.”
Meanwhile even seasoned meteorological forecasters are using the hashtag #makeitstop when discussing the weather on social media.
Reuters contributed to this report.