FORT WORTH — Temperatures are expected to reach 100 by Sunday, and the Salvation Army has opened cooling centers throughout North Texas to help people who need to get out of the heat.Ted Ryan, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Fort Worth, said that highs should reach 99 today and tomorrow, but Sunday should be our first 100-degree day.“Right now, Sunday and Monday will be our hottest days,” he said.On average, the first day of at least 100 degrees in DFW is June 30. Last year’s first was June 27.Ryan encouraged people to stay indoors or wear loose-fitting light-colored clothing when spending time outside and to drink lots of water.But big changes are on the way starting Tuesday night as an unusually strong cold front will drop into DFW, bringing a chance of rain with the cooler temperatures.Ryan said highs should be in the 80’s to around 90 and lows in the mid-60’s to around 70 through much of next week. The best chance for rain looks like it will be Thursday, he said.“It’s a little rare to have a cold front in July,” Ryan said, “cold” being a relative term in these parts.The front is the result of a strong upper-level low dropping out of Canada into the Great Lakes region at the beginning of the week, pushing cooler temperatures south into North Central Texas. The DFW area should see about four days of below-normal temperatures, the weather service says.There’s a 30 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms Wednesday night, and a 40 percent chance on Thursday. DFW has gotten 20.9 inches of rain since January, 10.3 inches below normal.In the meantime, the Salvation Army opened 15 cooling centers throughout North Texas to give people a place to escape the heat and drink water.Pat Patey, a spokesman for the Salvation Army, said that so far the summer has been mild, but temperatures are starting to climb.Patey said the centers are especially helpful to those who are homeless and have nowhere to go to get out of the heat.“Homeless people don’t have anywhere to go; they are exposed to the elements. We also have people who work outside who need to cool off,” he said.People are welcome at the centers for as long as they need to stay while they are open. Plenty of cold water is also available so that people can stay hydrated, Patey said.
Elizabeth Campbell, 817-390-7696 Twitter: @fwstliz