Excessive heat and humidity is continuing into another work week across portions of the Southern Plains and Lower Mississippi River after already a hot start to the month. Excessive Heat Warnings and Heat Advisories are in place once again today for many areas of the south. While temperatures will be in the 90s and 100s, dew points in the 60s and 70s will make it feel even warmer, and some areas could see a heat index up to 115 as we head into the afternoon hours.
Southern Heat So Far
So far the heat across the south has been impressive the past few days. For example, Dallas, TX, had it’s fifth 100+ day in a row on Sunday, tying the longest stretch the city saw in 2014 between August 6th and 10th. Yesterday’s high of 106 was the warmest high they’ve seen so far this year, surpassing the 104 back on July 30th.
Heat index values Sunday across the region have also been quite warm. Slidell, LA, saw a heat index of 118 yesterday at 6 PM – and already had a heat index of 106 in the 9 AM CT hour this (Monday) morning.
While many of these areas are used to the heat during the summer months, it really is becoming excessive in some spots. Through Sunday, Jackson, MS, has seen 28 straight days with a high temperature of 95 or warmer. There is a very good chance that their record of 29 back between July 22 and August 19, of 1896 will be tied today, and potentially broken Tuesday. Houston, TX, has seen 29 straight days with a high of 95 degrees or higher through Sunday. That’s good enough so far for the eighth longest streak on record in the city.
Meanwhile, it hasn’t been only the daytime temperatures that have been warm. Through Sunday, Galveston, TX, has not dropped below 80 degrees since July 3rd – that’s a stretch of 38 straight days, and the most ever in Galveston history.
A Break In The Heat?
While the heat across the south will continue over the next few days, some areas will start to get a much needed break from some of the warmest temperatures seen so far this year.
First, before we dive into the forecast, what is responsible for this impressive heat wave we’ve seen? Well, for that we look up into the atmosphere. A ridge of high pressure at the mid levels has built in over portions of the Southern Plains and Lower Mississippi Valley over the past few days. That allows the heat to build and stick around. Where that mid level high moves is indicative of where the warmest of the air will go. Over the next few days, that center of high pressure is forecast to slowly propagate back westward.
As the high moves west, temperatures on the eastern side of the high will start to drop, bringing some much needed relief. Little Rock, AR, is forecast to go from a high of 103 today down to 95 Tuesday – with temperatures only in the upper 80s by Thursday. Dallas, TX, will have two more days in the 100s today and Tuesday before highs drop back into the 90s for the middle of the week.
(CHECK OUT YOUR FORECAST: wx.aerisweather.com)
– Meteorologist D.J. Kayser