Parts of Texas have been roasting for more than two weeks and flirting with the state’s record high temperature, and now, temperatures could get even hotter and expand to other areas across the South.
“Many areas outside south and south-central Texas (will) experience their most significant heat of the season thus far,” the Weather Prediction Center said on Friday.
More than 90 record high temperatures could be broken this week from Texas to Missouri to Florida, with the majority of those occurring Wednesday through Friday.
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Temperatures could top 100 degrees through the week in multiple cities across the South. That longevity will only add to the seriousness of this heat wave.
Texas heat last week was flirting with the state’s hottest temperature on record: 120 degrees.
Rio Grande Village actually hit 119 degrees on Friday, and it’s forecast to hit that again on Tuesday. All told, there have been more than a dozen all-time record highs broken so far this month.
Temperatures this week will top out in the triple digits and it could feel like 120 degrees in places like Midland and Corpus Christi. Houston is even expected to feel like 115.
“There’s no break,” said weather historian Christopher C. Burt. “Looking at the models, this heat dome over Texas looks like it’s going to be persistent, shifting a little bit to the east or to the west from day to day, but I imagine it’s going to be just blazing for the rest of the month.”
‘More danger than a typical heat event’
The Texas heat wave turned deadly when two people died while hiking in Big Bend National Park in southwest Texas.
Temperatures there reached a scorching 119 degrees Friday. The weather service is saying this heat wave may be even more dangerous than usual moving forward because it won’t get much cooler overnight, during the coolest part of the day.
“There may be more danger than a typical heat event, due to the longevity of near-record or record high nighttime lows and elevated heat index readings,” the weather prediction center said.
That sort of overnight heat has already been happening. On Sunday, the low temperature was 81 degrees in Midland, Texas, a new all-time record there.
Without temperatures cooling off much at night, heat stress continues to build in your body and can increase the risk of heat related illnesses or even death.
The power grid has held up so far and kept the AC on for millions of Texans, despite record demand for electricity and even higher forecast demand this week.
But ERCOT, the Texas state utility operator, issued another Weather Watch until June 30 to warn Texans of the higher electrical demand due to the forecast high temperatures.
While ERCOT said there was enough energy to meet the high demand, new records for electricity demand could be set for each day for the rest of the month, testing the reliability of the grid.