The upper level high pressure responsible for our hot and dry weather will continue to influence Texas for the foreseeable future. This weather pattern is typical for the summer months and we’re seeing temperatures fairly close to average for late July. No doubt its hot out there but we’re not seeing anything close to record-breaking warmth or atypical weather for July. In fact we’re still awaiting the first 100 degree day at D/FW Airport for 2015. We should see that first 100 degree reading at D/FW today or tomorrow with a string of them likely over the next week. If anything good can come from this heat its that we’ve seen a period of dry weather which is helping to stabilize rivers and watersheds over flood-impacted regions. The downside to the dry weather is that surface fuels are drying out and grass fires are becoming more common, especially with the explosive growth from May and June rains.
High temperatures today will average one to two degrees warmer than Saturday across the state. The Texas Panhandle and West Texas should see mid 90s on the low end of the spectrum with the Permian Basin and Deep South Texas seeing the hottest temperatures today around 101-105 degrees. Upper 90s to lower 100s will be commonplace everywhere else in Texas. Heat index values along and east of Interstate 35 will climb into the mid to upper 100s today resulting in oppressive summer conditions. A rouge thunderstorm is possible in the Texas Panhandle late this afternoon through tonight but everyone else will remain hot and dry.
One factor that goes into the issuance of heat advisories across Texas is the low temperature forecast. While we have been seeing heat index values approach/exceed 105 degrees during the afternoon hours low temperatures play a large role as well. At night you typically expect things to cool off and that’s when folks without air conditioning can open their windows. However if temperatures fail to cool much then that is when you start seeing heat-related illness with the elderly or those without air conditioning. Typically those issues become a real concern when you get low temperatures above 78-80 degrees. Back in 2011 we had low temperatures in North Texas only falling into the mid 80s which is something you’d expect out in Arizona. We’re no where near that level of heat at this time. Temperatures tonight will drop into the low to upper 70s depending on your location and elevation.
We’ll crank temperatures up another one to two degrees on Monday as the heat ridge remains in place. Our weather pattern won’t change much over the next week with continued hot and dry weather. It’s summer in Texas – and even with an El Nino we have to deal with the heat. Stay cool, hydrated, protected from the sun, and check on your elderly neighbors to make sure they’re doing well and staying cool. Have a great Sunday and enjoy it!