Temperature breaks decade-old record in Dallas as southern US suffers heatwave
Another record day of high temperatures hit the Dallas/Fort Worth area on Saturday before a slight cooling trend moved into the region, according to the National Weather Service, as heat warnings extended from the Gulf Coast into the U.S. Southeast and upper Mid-South.
Temperatures in the area reached 43.3 degrees Celsius, breaking by four degrees the previous record for this date, which was set in 2011, according to the National Weather Service. The heat dome that has been over the state since June is expected to move out of the area soon, according to Weather Service meteorologist Ted Ryan.
Extreme heat warnings were in effect for much of East Texas, most of Louisiana, Mississippi and parts of Arkansas, Tennessee, Missouri, Kentucky, Illinois and the Florida Panhandle.
The Electricity Reliability Council of Texas, or ERCOT, asked the state’s 30 million residents five times this summer to voluntarily reduce energy use because rising temperatures are driving up electricity demand.
ERCOT has reached record peak power demand 10 times since June, according to its website.
The historic heat wave extended over parts of Mississippi and Louisiana as well.
Maximum heat index readings are expected to reach 48.3°C and 48.9°C across the region.
In Mississippi, the city of Jackson remained under an extreme heat warning, with temperatures expected to peak on Saturday at 39.4 degrees Celsius. City officials said the high temperatures are putting a strain on the city’s water system as an additional four million gallons of water are piped through the system daily. JXN Water is asking residents to reduce their water use to help conserve water.
Meanwhile, in Louisiana, the entire state was under an excessive heat warning and burn ban due to continuing critical fire-related weather conditions.
“This is the hottest summer we’ve ever recorded,” said Phil Grigsby, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Louisiana.
As of Friday, the area had recorded a heat index reading — what a temperature looks like — of more than 105 degrees Fahrenheit (40.6) for 55 days, since June 1, Grigsby said.
For the Dallas area, which had seen a record nine days of high temperatures before Saturday, temperatures are expected to be a bit cooler.
“There’s going to be a front that starts making its way here, and the high will be 103 degrees (Sunday),” Ryan said with a laugh. “But highs on Monday and Tuesday will be in the mid-90s, which is close to normal… 95 will feel good for a lot of us.”
Ryan said highs above 100 degrees likely won’t end, with temperatures likely to reach above that level during September.
Temporary relief is also on the horizon in neighboring Louisiana, Grigsby said.
“We’ll see a cold front push through the area” as a tropical low pressure heads toward Florida, Grigsby said. “This will push the 100- to 105-degree temperatures to the more common temperatures we’re used to seeing in August, into the lower 90s.”
Published on: 27 August 2023 12:32:58 IST