PHOENIX (AP) — The temperature in Phoenix hit a whopping 115 degrees Tuesday, making it the city’s hottest day so far this year.
The scorching heat prompted an excessive heat warning earlier in the day from the National Weather Service. It remains in effect until 8 p.m.
Forecasters are urging people to take several precautions. They include drinking water even when you’re not thirsty, cutting down on time in the sun and avoiding outdoor activity in the afternoon. Anyone who has to be outside should try to find shade because the ground can be anywhere from 40 to 60 degrees hotter, the weather service said.
Officials also are reminding people not to leave children or pets in their cars.
At the Phoenix Zoo, staff members were taking extra measures to keep monkeys, bears, and other animals cool. Zookeepers were handing out special treats of big ice blocks with food like sunflower seeds frozen inside. Elephants received a special hose-down.
“At the Phoenix Zoo, we consider that whenever we bring an animal in is their temperature requirements in the wild — what they can deal with — and some animals we just won’t have here at the Phoenix Zoo because it’s too hot for them and we can’t keep them as cool as they should be,” said Angela Comedy, the zoo’s carnivore collection manager.
All of the animal habitats are equipped with pools or misters. In addition, the animals’ cooler night-time houses open once the outdoors become too hot.
This story has been edited to correct that the excessive heat warning is in effect until Tuesday night, not Wednesday.