A historic heat wave in Texas enters its 12th day as hot temperatures expand across the Southwest
The historic heat wave hitting Texas has entered its 12th straight day, and there’s no end in sight as dangerous temperatures begin to expand to other parts of the South and Southwest at least to start the new work week.
Thousands of power outages remain in Texas after severe weather and deadly tornadoes last week. Excessive heat can become deadly, with many people having few options to escape the heat.
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Power outages have improved from Monday, but energy officials warn that the heat wave will continue to create record energy demand.
The Electric Reliability Council of Texas, or ERCOT, has issued a weather watch effective through June 30 asking Texans to voluntarily reduce energy consumption during periods of high demand.
ERCOT expects to record peak demand every day this week, Austin Energy Interim General Manager Stuart Riley said in a news conference Monday. The power grid is expected to have sufficient supply to meet demand, according to ERCOT.
Heat advisories expand across 9 states in the South and Southwest
More than 45 million people are now under high temperature advisories from the Southwest across the Southern Plains and into the Mississippi Valley.
Of these, about 10 million people are under extreme heat warnings in Arizona, New Mexico, Texas and Oklahoma, and more than 5 million are under extreme heat warnings in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.
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Triple-digit temperatures possible in Arizona, New Mexico
Texas, which has been dealing with these dangerous temperatures for nearly two weeks, won’t be the only place where excessive heat can lead to health emergencies like heat stroke and heat exhaustion.
Millions of people in the Southwest will also have to take proper precautions to stay safe as temperatures rise.
Temperatures are expected to exceed 100 degrees in Phoenix and Tucson, Arizona, through Roswell, New Mexico.
Humidity will also make it feel hotter than it actually is, with “feeling like” temperatures also well above 100 degrees.
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By Wednesday, extreme heat will creep into the Central Plains and central Mississippi Valley. The FOX Forecast Center expects cities like St. Louis and Memphis, Tennessee, and Kansas City, Missouri, to face high temperatures near 100 degrees.
There’s no relief from the heat in Texas
As has been the case for 12 days now, temperatures will remain well above average and will be dangerous for anyone outdoors exposed to extreme heat for extended periods.
Temperatures will be above 100 degrees from Dallas and Midland through San Antonio, Houston and Laredo.
The feel-like temperature on Monday will range from about 110 to 116 degrees statewide.
Extreme heat changes events, including a cattle drive at the Fort Worth Stockyards. FOX 4 in Dallas says the daily afternoon walk has been canceled until at least July 31.
There will likely be more Texas records at stake this week. On Tuesday, records may fall in San Angelo, which just set new record temperatures last week.
Temperatures were so warm that the lowest temperatures of the day also broke records.
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The temperature at the Midland International Air and Space Port dropped to 81 degrees Sunday morning, breaking the 2003 record of 78 degrees for the lowest temperature that day.
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There will be no relief from the heat as we head into the new work week across the South.
Triple-digit temperatures will also creep into parts of Louisiana on Monday, with Shreveport seeing a forecast high of 100 degrees and a temperature like 114.
New Orleans will also be baked under extreme heat, with feel-like temperatures around 110 degrees.
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By Tuesday, more areas in the south will experience dangerously high temperatures.
The high temperature in Jackson, Mississippi is expected to reach 96 degrees, but it will feel like around 106.
Temperatures feeling like between 110 and 115 degrees will once again dominate headlines in Texas on Tuesday.
The extreme heat is likely to continue into July
The FOX Forecast Center is tracking long-range forecast models that indicate the overall pattern leading to this extreme heat will continue into early July. What makes this especially dangerous is the number of days in a row where heat indexes are near 100 degrees or higher.
Drink plenty of water, and avoid drinks containing caffeine or alcohol. Officials also asked people to limit their time outdoors and take frequent breaks in air-conditioned spaces or in the shade if they have to stay outside. Experts encourage people to wear lightweight, light-colored clothing.