Although the summer solstice isn’t until Wednesday, blistering, dangerous summer-like heat has already been the main weather story for the past few days across the South-Central United States. Forecasters said there was little relief for sun-scorched states like Texas and Louisiana.
“It’s going to be pretty bad,” said Bob Fogarty, a National Weather Service meteorologist in the Austin/San Antonio office. “It would be oppressive.”
Temperature in San Angelo, TexasTuesday’s high was a record high of 114 degrees, the weather service said.
Meanwhile, Texas’ power grid operator asked residents on Tuesday to voluntarily cut power as the system requires prospective registration.
AccuWeather Meteorologists The heat dome that caused the temperature to rise throughout June is expected to continue to affect heat records for at least the next few days.
Excessive heat warnings are in effect
High temperatures are predicted to rise 100s and 110s across South Texas, the weather service said. Evening lows will only drop into the 70s and 80s.
Extreme heat warnings and heat advisories are in effect for Texas and Louisiana, according to the weather service. An extreme heat warning means “dangerously hot conditions are expected with heat index values of 110 – 120 degrees,” the weather service said.
“Extreme heat and humidity can significantly increase the potential for heat-related illnesses, especially for those who work or participate in outdoor activities,” the weather service warned.
‘Intolerable’, ‘horrendous’ heat
Massive storms late last week and into the weekend left tens of thousands of people without power across the South-Central United States on Tuesday, adding to the heat misery.
“It’s unbearable,” Lee Johnson, who lives in Mount Vernon, Texas, told a Dallas television station. KXAS Monday. He had no electricity for three days.
“It’s terrible because the heat index is so bad, in fact, we have to sit in cold baths to cool down. Our animals also have to stick them in the bathtub to avoid heat stroke, which is really bad,” he said.
Why is it so hot?
Fogarty said a strong high pressure system and unusual humidity are responsible for the uncomfortable weather. High-pressure, stagnant air warms the area above it.
“It allows us to get hotter and hotter,” he said. “The sun burns it every day.”
How to stay safe in extreme heat
People should approach heat with caution, Fogarty said.
“If you can, try to avoid the hottest part of the day,” he said. “If you must be outside, wear loose, light-colored clothing. Try to take breaks in the shade. Try to stay hydrated.”
AccuWeather recommends people:
- Drink plenty of fluids
- In an air-conditioned room, away from sunlight
- Check relatives and neighbors
- Do not leave small children or pets unattended in vehicles
- If possible, shift strenuous activities to early morning or evening if you work or spend time outside
Contributing to: Austin-American Statesman; Associated Press