The intense heat bakes most of Texas
HOUSTON — Summer won’t officially start until next week, but the sweltering heat was already setting in in Texas on Friday, with temperatures soaring into double digits in many cities.
Extreme heat warnings or heat advisories have been issued for most of Texas, including Brownsville, Corpus Christi, Dallas, Houston, Laredo and San Antonio, according to the National Weather Service. Some of the cities recording triple-digit highs on Friday included Austin, Del Rio, Junction, Laredo and San Angelo.
The extreme heat warning for Houston was the first issued for the city in nearly seven years. The temperature on Friday in Houston rose to 95 degrees Fahrenheit (35 degrees Celsius), with a heat index of 111 degrees Fahrenheit (44 degrees Celsius). The temperature in Corpus Christi also reached 95 degrees Friday afternoon, but the heat index rose to 119 degrees (48 degrees Celsius). Heat index values take into account temperature and relative humidity and indicate how hot it feels outside.
“We see these temperatures most summers. What’s different about this particular warm episode is that it comes earlier than we normally see,” said Tim Cady, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Houston/Galveston.
Cady said the extreme heat was caused by a “sustained ridge of high pressure” located over the south-central United States.
“It may be a long time until next week before we see any real relief from this,” he said.
Earlier this week, the City of Houston activated its Public Health Emergency Plan, which includes making all city libraries and multi-service centers serve as cooling centers on weekdays and Saturdays.
“We all know that Houston can sometimes be uncomfortably hot in the summer. I want everyone to understand that this forecast calls for extreme heat and humidity that is dangerous and potentially deadly for some of our vulnerable Houstonians,” Mayor Sylvester Turner said this week. .
Officials in other cities, including Austin, Corpus Christi and Laredo, have also opened cooling centers for their residents.
“Is anyone ready for winter yet?” The National Weather Service in Corpus Christi said in a tweet Friday.
While many Texans were dealing with the heat, others in the Texas Panhandle town of Perryton were still cleaning up Friday after a tornado tore through their community.
Earlier this week, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, which manages the state’s power grid, issued a weather warning, letting residents know that temperatures were expected to cause demand for electricity to spike.
On Friday afternoon, power grid conditions were normal and there was enough capacity to meet current demand, according to ERCOT.
The power grid manager has been under scrutiny since a deadly winter blackout in February 2021, which left more than 4 million people without power in frigid weather.
With Juneteenth long weekend, Cady said people should take precautions during dangerous temperatures, including avoiding strenuous activities during the day, wearing light clothing and drinking plenty of fluids.
“We’re really stressing thermal safety this weekend,” said Cady.
(Tags for translation) SAN ANTONIO