Archive for the ‘Extreme Heat’ Category

2011 Hottest Year Ever Recorded
August 21, 2011

We are on track to set the hottest year on record in Houston with an average temperature of 72.6 degrees.  This is rather incredible despite our cold winter.  Interesting that second place is exactly 100 years ago.    In a typical year Houston’s average daily mean temperature is 67.9 degrees. 

Focusing on the month of August, Houston’s average temperature is 82.3 degrees.  However, this August our average is 90.7.  The record was set last year at 87.7 degrees.  Being three degree above our record is almost inconceivable.   


The 100-Degree Streak Continues, Records Falling
August 18, 2011

This unprecedented string of 100-degree days shows no signs of stopping.  We are quickly coming up on the all-time summer record of 100-degree days set in 1980.

Speaking of 1980, Huntsville, Conroe and Hobby Airport have already eclipsed their 1980 records of 100-degree days. 

100-degree days in a row… Tomball, Huntsville and College Station have more than Houston. 

It will be interesting to see how much longer College Station’s streak will last.  It needs to go 11 more days to tie the all-time record of 30 days set in 1998.  It can do it. The high-pressure ridge, while moving west next week, will still bring abnormally high temperatures.

100 Degrees 8 Days and Counting
August 9, 2011

As of Tuesday morning, we have endured 19 100-degree days in Houston this year.  It’s basically four times our average of five 100-degree days a year, but short of the record set in 1980.

The streak of eight in a row puts us in fourth place of longest 100-degree streaks.  Since Aug. 1 we’ve been either 100, 101 or 102 degrees.  We would need to hit 100 degrees every day this week though Sunday to tie 1980’s record.

Besides the 100-degree temperatures this month, we are now the hottest YEAR on record with an average high of 72.2 degrees.  This ties us with 1911.  After today, we will stand alone on top.

Of course, the drier ground makes it hotter. We are also the driest year on record, 18 inches of rain below normal.  It’s taken two and a half years to get the drought this bad. Unless we get a drought buster, like a tropical system, it will take a long time to dig ourselves out of this hole.

Hottest Temperature Ever Recorded
July 22, 2011

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Past Weather Quiz Answers

A Hot Problem for Galveston
July 1, 2011


This is a quote from the National Weather Service, “We’ve been informed that concrete was put in at the ASOS site in Galveston a few days ago, which may be affecting the records that have been set there since June 26th. For now the records will count until we determine otherwise.”  The problem with concrete with it absorbs heat and probably is adding a few degrees to the recording station.  The NWS has strict rules that official recording sites must have grass surrounding the station. 

This is the follow up I received from Patrick Blood at the NWS: 

“As of this past month, the KGLS ASOS site has been moved and new sensors installed.  The site, while still on airport grounds, is now more representative of the local soil/radiative properties that before…and it should not be as influenced by local asphalt.”

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Past Weather Quiz Answers

It’s Not Just The Heat, It’s The Humidity
June 16, 2011

We are on pace to have the hottest June ever in Houston.  We’ve set six record highs this month and four of those days have been at or above 100 degrees.

But today the humidity goes up, and that will cause problems as we enter the weekend.  Click image to view Thursday’s webcast.

Your Summer 2011 Forecast
June 10, 2011

I answer Wayne’s question on this webcast.  Click image to view your summer forecast.

Heat and Drought Records
June 9, 2011

Click image to view Thursday’s webcast.

105 Degrees!!!
June 6, 2011

We reached 105 degrees in Houston Sunday! That alone is incredible but did you know it is the hottest June temperature ever recorded. The previous mark was set June 24th and 26th 2009 when the high made it to 104. It was also the earliest date we’ve ever been that hot. July 26, 1954 was the previous 105 mark. Temperatures in the city of Houston date back to 1891. Before yesterday there have been only 15 days in which the temperature has reached or exceeded 105 degrees.                               

  • 4 – 1909
  • 1 – 1954
  • 2 – 1962
  • 3 – 1980
  • 5 – 2000

The entire month has been hot!  In fact, we’ve set a record four out of five days with another record high expected to be set today.  Today’s record is 98 set in 1980 and I’ve got 103 forecasted.

Record High and Low Temperatures
December 17, 2010


Courtesy: Earth Gauge

From January 2000 to October 24, 2010, 310,531 record high temperatures were set across the contiguous United States. During the same period, 152,087 record low temperatures were set, giving a record highs to record lows ratio of more than 2:1.

There are close to 5,000 quality-controlled weather stations across the United States and every day at least some of these locations will set record high or record low temperatures. During periods of warming – even periods of pronounced warming – daily record low temperatures will continue to be set. Daily record high temperatures are also set during periods of cooling. Yet, it is not the existence of record highs or record lows that indicate whether a warming or cooling trend is occurring. Instead, it is the proportion or ratio of record highs to record lows that indicates whether the climate is getting warmer or cooler. During the warmest decade on record, the 2000s, lots of daily record lows were set. Between January 1, 2000 and October 24, 2010, 152,087 record lows were set. All other things being equal – meaning that there is no increase or decrease in average surface temperature – the ratio of record highs to record lows should be around 1:1. But, from January 2000 to October 24, 2010, 310,531 record high temperatures were set, giving a high to low ratio of more than 2:1. The disparity between record highs and record lows reflects the above normal temperatures experienced over the last decade.

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Past Weather Quiz Answers

Track the Heat on
August 10, 2010

Rising temperatures can take a toll on our bodies. Usually, your body cools as perspiration evaporates off your skin. But, on extremely hot days, evaporation slows and your body has to work harder to maintain a normal body temperature. The American Meteorological Society estimates that up to 1,000 people die each year from from heat-related illnesses; many others become ill from heat exhaustion or heat stroke.

  • Stay inside if possible. If you do not have air conditioning at home, go to a the home of a friend or relative, shopping mall, public library or another public place. Even a few hours spent in air conditioning can help prevent heat-related illnesses.
  • While electric fans do have a cooling effect, they do not prevent heat-related illnesses when temperatures reach the 90s. Taking a cool shower or bath or moving to a place that is air-conditioned are better choices.
  • Everyone feels the heat, but some people are more vulnerable to heat-related illnesses.  Check regularly on friends and relatives who are 65 or older, have a mental illness, or have physical illnesses like heart disease or high blood pressure. Always keep a close watch on infants and children.

These helpful ideas come from  Earth Gauge.

This image is from our temperature page.  It was captured at 10 a.m. Tuesday. Notice how Bay City and Victoria are already recording 107 degree feels-like temperatures.

Click image or go to: to get your current “feels like temperatures.”

Heat Aware
August 5, 2010


Heat Aware is a local company that helps businesses deal with heat related illness.  Many industries have employees that work outdoors for hours upon hours in our relentless Houston heat.  Workers keep it in a pocket away from the sun and monitor the temperature.

If you are out at the beach or playing in the hot afternoon sun the card shows how hot it is and lists ideas to keep you and your family safe.

You can get more info by clicking the card.

What is the Hottest Part of the Day?
July 20, 2010

I often get asked when is the hottest part of the day.  Most people think it is noon.  On today’s webcast I explain why late afternoon is the hottest part of the day and I also show you the latest flare up in the Tropics.  Click image to view Tuesday’s webcast.

What Are You Doing To Stay Cool?
July 15, 2009


Photo by: Rose Odell, Lake Somerville

This is Rose’s 9 month old grandson, Clayton Wayne Yovino, keeping cool at Lake Somerville.


This is a Great Blue Heron.  Herons cool themselves by panting and/or gular fluttering.  (They flap membranes in their throat to increase evaporation.)

Photo by: Margaret Sloan, Brazos Bend State Park

Heat Stroke
July 10, 2009


What is heat stroke?

Heat stroke is a form of hyperthermia, an abnormally elevated body temperature with accompanying physical and neurological symptoms. Unlike heat cramps and heat exhaustion, two forms of hyperthermia that are less severe, heat stroke is a true medical emergency that can be fatal if not properly and promptly treated.

The body normally generates heat as a result of metabolism, and is usually able to dissipate the heat by either radiation of heat through the skin or by evaporation of sweat. However, in extreme heat, high humidity or vigorous exertion under the sun, the body may not be able to dissipate the heat and the body temperature rises. Another cause of heat stroke is dehydration. A dehydrated person may not be able to sweat fast enough to dissipate heat, which causes the body temperature to rise.

Those most susceptible to heart strokes include:

       infants, the elderly (often with associated heart diseases, lung diseases, kidney diseases, or who are taking medications that make them vulnerable to heat strokes), athletes, and outdoor workers physically exerting themselves under the sun.

What are heat stroke symptoms?

Symptoms of heat stroke can sometimes mimic those of heart attack or other conditions. Sometimes a person experiences symptoms of heat exhaustion before progressing to heat strokes.

Symptoms of heat exhaustion include:

       nausea, vomiting, fatigue, weakness, headache, muscle cramps and dizziness.

However, some individuals can develop symptoms of heat stroke suddenly and rapidly without warning.

Different people may have different symptoms and signs of heat stroke. But common symptoms and signs of heat stroke include:

       high body temperature

       the absence of sweating, with hot red or flushed dry skin

       rapid pulse

       difficulty breathing

       strange behavior





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Kids and Cars
July 9, 2009


When I first heard this I was shocked.  Here is an excerpt from the study:  

Airbags vs. Hyperthermia Deaths 
 In the three-year period of 1990-1992, before airbags became popular, there were only 11 known deaths of children from hyperthermia.

In the most recent three-year period of 2004-2006, when almost all young children are now placed in back seats instead of front seats, there have been at least 110 known fatalities from hyperthermia…a ten-fold increase from the rate of the early 1990s. [Important note: This in no way implies that it is advocated that children be placed in the front seat or that airbags be disabled.]


Click image to get more information on kids and cars.  Or go here:

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Heat, Children and Vehicles
July 9, 2009

It’s something we hate talking about — the deaths of children left in cars.  In 2008, there were 42 deaths nationwide and we led the country with five.  So far this year there have been 14, none in southeast Texas.  I am posting this now because the month of July is typically when this happens the most. 

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Safety Recommendations:

  • Be sure that all occupants leave the vehicle when unloading. Don’t overlook sleeping babies.
  • Always lock your car and ensure children do not have access to keys or remote entry devices.  If a child is missing, check the car first, including the trunk. Teach your children that vehicles are never to be used as a play area.
  • Keep a stuffed animal in the car seat. When the child is put in the seat, place the animal in the front with the driver.
  • Place your purse or briefcase in the back seat as a reminder that you have your child in the car.
  • Make “look before you leave” a routine whenever you get out of the car.
  • Have a plan that your childcare provider will call you if your child does not show up for school.
  • Here is a web site with excellent information on this problem:

    Heat Stroke
    July 6, 2009


    Heat causes harm by overloading the body’s heat removal system.  When heat gain becomes greater than heat removal, the body’s core temperature rises, causing cramps, exhaustion and even heat stroke or death.  Heat stroke occurs when the body’s core temperature reaches 104 degrees fahrenheit and death from heat is expected when core temperature reaches 107 degrees.  The very young and the very old, the homeless, and those with obesity, heart diesease or poor circulation conditions are at especially high-risk for heat-related health issues.

    Courtesy: Earth Gauge


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    Dog Days of Summer Begin
    July 3, 2009


    The dog days of summer (a period of 40 days starting July 3 and ending August 11) are named for the Dog Star, Sirius, which is visible with the rising Sun at this time.  Long ago people associated this sky picture with the hot days that coincided with it.

    Photo by: Gary Hunt, Discovery Green