Great Plains sweltering heat explodes as temperatures rise to 115 degrees


As historical temperatures bake Europe, with readings as high as 115 degrees in Portugal, it’s been like the very hot countries. Sixty million Americans could suffer triple-digit temperatures over the next several days, as the plains reach 115 degrees and heat index values ​​exceed 120 degrees.

Temperatures in Dallas and Oklahoma are expected to reach at least 108 degrees Tuesday afternoon.

Heat and overheating warnings cover the plains, where the combination of tropical temperatures and humidity will place dangerous amounts of stress on the human body for those who cannot escape the heat. This presents a serious threat to the elderly, the homeless and others who do not have access to refrigerated shelters.

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“Extreme heat and humidity will significantly increase the likelihood of heat-related illness,” the National Weather Service wrote, “particularly for those who work or participate in outdoor activities.”

The heat is concentrated over the southern plains and south central United States, but it already managed to achieve a record temperature of 107 degrees in Salt Lake City on Sunday. In Montana, Glasgow experienced one of the 10 hottest days on record at 108 degrees.

A sprawling, high-pressure ridge known as the Thermal Dome is responsible for the high temperatures. It brings clear skies, sunken air and plenty of sunshine. It also diverts the jet stream north to Canada, deflecting any major storm systems or inclement weather. This is why heat domes often dry out.

Tuesday will likely be the hottest over the next week, although spikes beyond the century mark will continue into the foreseeable future. Temperatures in Oklahoma City are forecast to reach 109 degrees on Tuesday, the highest since July 20, 2018. Oklahoma’s state capital has recorded just 109 degrees 19 times since 1890.

“We had one day in 2018 where we got to 109,” said Vivek Mahal, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Norman, Okla. “We will be around 104 tomorrow [Wednesday]but with that we’ll be 5-7 degrees above average over the rest of this week.”

In southwest Oklahoma along the HE Bailey Turnpike, the high temperature is set to peak at around 112 degrees Tuesday afternoon. Since July 1912, this has happened only 20 times – making the heat an event roughly once every five years.

It’s a similar story in Wichita Falls, across the Red River in north-central Texas, where a reading of 112 degrees is also expected.

Severe temperatures, locally above 110 degrees, bleed far south toward the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex, where DFW International Airport tied for its hottest day ever on Monday. The average morning minimum was 86 degrees, and the afternoon high was 109 degrees to 97.5 degrees, matching the record set on August 3. 3, 2011. That 86 degrees is also associated with a record warm low.

The temperature at Mitcham International Airport in Fort Worth rose to 110 degrees on Monday.

Dallas is expected to score 109 again Tuesday and 108 on Wednesday. So far this month, the DFW has already had 14 days at 100 degrees or more.

In addition to the volume of heat, the duration is equally alarming.

“I would say now that longevity” is what is most impressive, Mahal said. “The biggest impact on people is how long it lasts.”

The heat itself is unusual – about 5 to 10 degrees above average in places like Oklahoma and Kansas and up to 15 degrees hotter than normal in the Lone Star State. Even Houston is expected to peak around 100 degrees each afternoon until at least the beginning of next week.

In Austin, highs in the 102 to 106 degree range are expected until at least the beginning of next week. The same is true for San Antonio, Tulsa, and Wichita.

More problematic are nighttime bottoms, which in many areas will not dip below the mid-1980s. Hot temperatures throughout the night are a major contributor to heat-related deaths, as warm nights prevent the body from entering the nocturnal cool-down period. Elevations above 100 degrees will extend across the southwestern desert as well.

In southeastern Texas and along the Gulf Coast, dew points near 70 degrees — indicating the amount of tropical moisture in the air — will result in heat indicators nearing or exceeding 110 degrees. Farther north and west across the Interstate 35 corridor, relatively lower humidity will translate into fire weather concerns. Red flag warnings have been raised for a wide area of ​​Texas and Oklahoma, where relative humidity could drop below 25 percent and winds could reach 30 mph.

“The red flag warning means that a dangerous combination of weather conditions and dry vegetation is expected within 24 hours, favoring rapid growth and the spread of any wildfires,” the Tulsa National Weather Service wrote. Several fires are already burning across the South Central Plains.

These conditions can “contribute to severe fire behaviour,” the Norman Weather Service echoed. More than half of Texas experiences severe or “exceptional” Grade 1 drought, according to the US Drought Observatory.

“It hasn’t rained for a while,” Mahal said. “A lot of our plants haven’t had at least a quarter inch of rain for 30 to 40 days, and are only insulated in the face of widespread storms for the past month. When the vegetation dries up, it makes it easier to warm up the crops. You don’t have much evaporation, And things dry up.”

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