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North Texas Heat Wave, When Does The Tragedy End?

Here are five things to know, even as the Dallas area has already exceeded the typical summer for 100-degree days.

If you’ve stepped outside in the past month, you know it’s hot outside. Like, miserably, hopelessly hot.

A ferocious heat wave has settled over Dallas-Fort Worth and much of Texas, sending people scrambling indoors for air conditioning or trying to have a little fun with things by, say, baking chocolate chip cookies inside their cars.

As the National Weather Service issues almost-daily excessive heat warnings, here are five things to know about the heat wave:

1. How many 100-degree days has Dallas-Fort Worth seen so far?
The region has recorded 27 days of at least 100 degrees, with the first arriving on June 25. That beats the typical summer, which sees roughly 20 days with 100-degree temperatures.

But it doesn’t even come close to the record, when 2011 saw a whopping 71 days of 100 degrees or more, said Sarah Barnes, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Fort Worth.

2. When will this end?
Unfortunately, there’s no end in sight quite yet. Friday’s high reached 106 degrees at DFW International Airport, with a heat index of 112. Saturday’s forecast calls for a high of 107. Humidity is also expected to surge this weekend, with heat indexes reaching or even surpassing 110 degrees.

“Nobody wants to hear that right now,” Barnes said.

A small chance of rain Monday and Tuesday could help bring down the temperature a bit, Barnes said, but as of now, the highs are still expected to soar above 100.

3. Is Dallas-Fort Worth the hottest region in Texas?
Dallas is now hotter than both Houston and Brownsville, which are forecast to hit 101 and 100 degrees Friday. Austin is forecast to reach 105 degrees, and Marfa is expecting a brisk 98 degrees.

“It’s pretty safe to say we’re one of the hottest locations in the state,” Barnes said. “But the entire state is experiencing super widespread triple-digit temperatures.”

4. Where in the U.S. is it hotter?
Rest easy, Dallas. It could be worse.

Phoenix is positively sweltering, with a high of 113 on Saturday. The city’s forecast calls for highs above 110 degrees for at least the next week.

And there’s Death Valley, Calif., which is expected to reach a blistering 118 degrees Monday.

5. Want to escape?
Texas is roasting, but there are some cooler spots in the U.S. Highs in Portland, Maine, are hovering in the 70s. A nonstop flight on American Airlines this week will run you $570, which is beginning to sound like a bargain.


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