A deadly heat wave will worsen in parts of the South today, but relief from the most extreme, record-breaking temperatures arrives in Texas and is on the horizon elsewhere.
Parts of Texas have baked in triple-digit heat for more than two weeks, but today is the first day since mid-June that the state isn’t expected to set some kind of record.
Still, the concept of “relief” is relative for temperatures that climbed as high as 119 degrees last week.
Temperatures in Laredo, where heat has killed 11 people, have been in the triple digits every day for nearly three weeks. It will be nearly 10 degrees cooler there through the weekend, but temperatures are still forecast to top 100 degrees.
Other places across South Texas will finally catch a break from that kind of heat by the weekend.
San Angelo could have its coolest day since June 16 and hit the 90s on Saturday, a feat possible across other portions of southern Texas.
“Temperatures will still be hot, but considering we’ve seen multiple days above 110 recently, highs in the 90s will feel cooler,” forecasters at the National Weather Service office in San Angelo said.
While Texas temperatures fall, the heat will worsen elsewhere.
Southeast to swelter as heat dome settles in
Just four days later, on June 25, a 49-year-old man collapsed while walking in the 95-plus degree heat in Shreveport and later died. Both had preexisting conditions, the coroner said, which made them more vulnerable to heat illness.
Temperatures will climb above 100 degrees in Shreveport and elsewhere across the Southeast as the “heat dome” – a persistent ridge of high pressure – expands into the region.
Nearly 20 record highs across the region could be broken over the next two days.
Read more: What is a heat dome?
Brutal humidity will combine with record high temperatures to crank up heat index values and make it feel like 110 to 115 degrees in places like Memphis, where nearly 25 thousand people are still without power after powerful storms ripped through the area over the weekend.
Overnight temperatures will also stay warm, even in Texas. More than 100 record high minimum temperatures could fall during the next five days.
Relief will take a little longer for areas in the Southeast. Temperatures will stay hot through the weekend, then finally fall by early next week. Temperatures will still be hot in the 90s, but cooler compared to the triple digits happening now.
Roughly 90 million people are under heat alerts across the US, and it’s not just in the South. A chunk of that population is in the West.
‘First widespread heatwave of the season’ in the West
Heat alerts now cover portions of New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, California and Oregon as temperatures are expected to soar above 100 degrees for many locations through the weekend and into early next week. Temperatures will get close to 120 degrees across Central Arizona and the California deserts.
A significant heatwave is predicted to impact the San Joaquin Valley this weekend. Here are probabilities (70 percent or greater) of afternoon high temperatures expected to reach or exceed 105 degrees on Saturday for select locations across the valley. #CAwx pic.twitter.com/F9tZAxmwLf
— NWS Hanford (@NWSHanford) June 28, 2023
For the valleys of California, temperatures are forecast to hit 110 degrees, as the “region’s first widespread heatwave of the season” arrives, the National Weather Service in Sacramento said.
That heat will also finally arrive in Las Vegas, which has gone a record-breaking 292 consecutive days without reaching 100 degrees, but is forecast to hit 100 today, and shoot up to 110 degrees by Sunday and beyond.