Dog Days arrive earlier and earlier

from Melissa Kelly on Click2pins

Hopefully you’ve heard by now that it’s about to get very hot around here with 100-102° by week’s end. And those are the actual temperatures -- Feel Like temps (the heat index) will tack on another five degrees! We’re watching for heat warnings sooner than later. Here’s the 10-day forecast:

Stormtracker 10 Day forecast

What’s up? I’m tracking an upper-level high pressure situated south of us. That high pressure literally represents heavy, sinking air which suppresses rising air and without rising air you don’t have much cloud cover, just hot blue skies. No clouds mean no rain. In addition, that sinking air compresses at the ground and when you compress air you heat it up (you’ve probably used a bicycle pump to compress air through a small valve into the tire and noticed how that valve heats up!). And worse, that High to our south means a dry, hot westerly wind is in place which only adds fuel to the fire, so to speak. I’ve drawn it below:


When does the high move away? According to the American Model (GFS), not until late NEXT week, which means these triple-digits are parked here for a while.

Climate Central notes that thanks to climate change we are experiencing hotter days and more of them over the past five decades. Since 1970, Houston summer heat has risen more than 4° on-average:

courtesy Climate Central

And not only are we hotter than ever before, those hot days are becoming standard operating procedure! Almost two months worth of warm, summer days are with us now:

courtesy Climate Central

We’re not alone, of course, the entire United States has been blazing away the last 50 years, slowly but surely:

courtesy Climate Central

The west has been hit particularly hard, but even the “cooler” middle part of the country has still gone up a full degree in terms of how warm summer has become.

Climate Central issued a full report analyzing 241 cities and their summer heat. Some salient observations:

  • More frequent extreme heat is not only an indicator of climate change — it’s also one of the most serious health risks in our warming climate.
  • Excessive heat is the leading cause of weather-related deaths in the U.S. Climate change is making bouts of deadly heat longer and more frequent.
  • Exposure to extreme heat makes it difficult for our bodies to cool off, resulting in heat-related illnesses including heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and even fatal medical emergencies such as heat stroke.
  • Summer heat can also worsen air quality by trapping harmful pollutants close to the Earth’s surface. These pollutants can exacerbate respiratory health issues in people with asthma and other lung diseases.

Regardless of reasons, the heat is here now, so stay hydrated, stay cool and check on those you love (especially the furry ones!).

from Click2pins

We’ll continue to track the extreme heat for you and be watching for an eventual cooldown!


Email me with comments and questions!

About the Authors:

KPRC 2's chief meteorologist with four decades of experience forecasting Houston's weather.

Amanda Cochran is an Edward R. Murrow award-winning journalist. She specializes in Texas features, consumer and business news and local crime coverage.