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Heatwave Sweeps Across South-Central US, Breaking Records

Temperatures soar above 100°F, posing health risks and putting daily record highs in jeopardy.
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Conditions have been toasty across the south-central United States during a large stretch of June. “ Temperatures will climb between 5-15 degrees Fahrenheit above historical averages through next week, putting daily record highs in jeopardy,” said AccuWeather forecasters. 

A northward bulge in the jet stream across the Central states has allowed persistent hot air to push northward from Mexico and expand across parts of Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, southern Kansas, Arkansas, and Louisiana.

“The heat that has gripped Texas for days on end will extend into next week as an intense core of high pressure high up in the atmosphere expands in coverage from northern Mexico into more of eastern Texas,” said La Troy Thornton a meteorologist. 

Cities across northern and eastern Texas, such as Dallas, Tyler, and Wichita Falls, typically observe high temperatures in the lower to middle 90s F during the last week of June but are all forecast to climb above 100 F multiple days next week.

“A heat dome which is an expansive and stagnant zone of high pressure that causes climbing temperatures and limits cloud cover due to sinking air, will hover across the Central U.S. for much of the upcoming week,”  says meteorologists Forecasters say that as the jet stream nudges slightly northward and eastward in the coming days, the heat will build into a portion of the Plains, Mississippi Valley and Southeast.

On Saturday, heat advisories were in place across a large portion of Texas, eastern Oklahoma, Louisiana, Arkansas, western Mississippi and the far western counties of Tennessee. Excessive heat warnings were also issued for west-central and southern Texas on Saturday.

As early as Sunday, temperatures will rise 5 to perhaps 15 degrees above Saturday’s already impressive values, possibly approaching 115 degrees from northern Louisiana into the suburbs of Jackson, Mississippi, and even parts of southeastern Arkansas. ACCUWEATHER

“At the same time, the heat will also spread westward through more of southern New Mexico and northward into more of Oklahoma on Sunday, with temperatures potentially reaching 110 F in Oklahoma City,” said Thornton.

Intense temperatures upwards of 100-105 F will also grip a large portion of southern New Mexico, southern Arizona, and parts of Southeastern California throughout the upcoming week. Traditionally known hot places like Death Valley, California, may finally climb upwards of 113 F later this week as the dome of heat expands to that corner of the country, a level that locations in Texas contended with for several days the previous week.

Residents are advised to be mindful of heat dangers such as dehydration, heat stroke, sunburn, heat rash, and heat exhaustion. Taking actions such as drinking plenty of water can help to combat some of these risks, and it is recommended to frequently check on those in the community, such as children and the elderly, and, if possible, stay in an air-conditioned environment during peak heating hours.

During times of extreme heat, a hidden danger can be elevated temperatures lingering into the overnight hours, particularly for those without air conditioning. When air temperatures remain elevated as people go to sleep, additional strain on the heart can occur as the body tries to regulate the internal temperature. This is especially true in highly-urbanized areas where the urban heat island effect occurs.

Temperatures typical of late July will spread to parts of the Plains through late next week. Locations such as Kansas City, Missouri, are expected to climb into the low 90s Fahrenheit by late next week, roughly 6–8 degrees above the historical average for late June. So far in June, Kansas City residents have only observed one 90-degree day but have gotten close on multiple occasions. ACCUWEATHER

Even locations such as Wichita, Kansas, and Springfield, Missouri, are forecast to reach above the 100-degree mark around the latter half of next week, roughly 10 degrees above the typically observed temperatures for this time of year.

As the northward bulge in the jet stream pushes eastward by late week, conditions will heat up across the Mississippi Valley and Gulf Coast states. Even locations in Florida will flirt with record-breaking temperatures, such as Miami, Tampa Bay, and West Palm Beach. Daytime highs are forecast to come within a few degrees of the existing daily record high temperatures from the mid-to-late week.

Chances for some relief from the heat may arrive across areas of western and northwestern Texas by later next week. Although, temperatures may only drop to values near to slightly above the historical average for some locations, such as Amarillo, Texas.

“Texas in particular is in dire need of a break from the extreme heat and humidity, but the center of the heat dome that is providing these dangerous conditions looks to stick around through at least midweek. In Houston, temperatures are expected to remain above the historical average for the foreseeable future,” stated Thornton.

Produced in association with AccuWeather

(Additional reporting provided by AccuWeather)

Edited by Judy J. Rotich and Virginia Van Zandt

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