Summer doesn’t officially arrive until June 20, but the heat is already here.
Once the thermometer reached 95 degrees Wednesday at Dallas/Fort Worth Airport, it officially became the hottest day of the year, surpassing 94 on June 6.
While the rain that caused flooding in North Texas earlier this month is long gone, the humidity is still relatively high at about 60 percent.
A heat advisory remains in effect for North Texas until 8 p.m. Friday with heat indexes expected to reach above 105 degrees.
“I don’t see any appreciable precipitation for the next 10 days,” said National Weather Service meteorologist Steve Fano.
There is one benefit from the muggy weather. It should take a few weeks to bake the moisture out of the soil, which will delay the onslaught of 100-degree days — though Saturday’s high is expected to reach 97.
July 1 is the average first 100-degree day at Dallas/Fort Worth Airport.
On average, the first 100-degree day at Dallas/Fort Worth Airport is July 1.
Last year, there were 15 100-degree days in North Texas with the first occurring on July 13. North Texas typically sees an average of 18 100-degree days.
“Right now, we’re so moist and so green for June that it should keep the temperatures down a little bit,” Fano said. “As we start to dry out, we should start to heat up.”
The dry season is here
The Climate Prediction Center’s outlook for July, August and September shows slightly above-normal temperatures.
That means North Texas probably won’t see an extraordinarily hot summer like 2011 when there were a record 71 days of 100-degree weather.
“It’s certainly not going to start out that way,” said state climatologist John Nielsen-Gammon. “The rest of June should be relatively mild until things dry out a lot more.”
Dry weather could stick around into fall and winter with forecasters predicting a 75 percent chance that La Niña will form in the Pacific Ocean this winter. La Niña, the sister weather pattern to El Niño, occurs when there are colder than normal ocean temperatures in the equatorial Pacific. For Texas, La Niña typically means drier and warmer winters.
“It could impact us from November to March but there’s a one-in-four chance it doesn’t happen at all,” Nielsen-Gammon said.
‘Always hot in the summer’
One caveat to this summer’s weather could come from the Gulf of Mexico. There’s always the possibility of a tropical disturbance drifting northward that could bring downpours at some point during the summer.
71 100-degree days in 2011.
“It would only take one tropical system to move up from the Gulf to change a lot of this outlook,” Fano said.
But even if that happens, it will probably still be considered hot this year.
“It is hot in North Texas in the summer,” Fano said. “For all practical purposes, where we are in our latitude and our proximity to the gulf, we’re always hot in the summer.”
Exercise caution when spending time outside during the next couple of days. Heat exhaustion and heat strokes are common on days with heat advisories but are easily preventable.
Staff writer Azia Branson contributed to this report.
Be smart and stay cool
How to stay safe when the temperature is rising.
- Hydrate: The more you are outside, the more water you should be drinking, especially if you’re engaging in a strenuous activity.
- Ventilate: If you can avoid going outside for long periods of time, you probably should. Stay in the air conditioning or keep windows open and use fans in order to stay cool.
- Cover up: Wear light-colored and loose fitting clothing to avoid trapping the sun’s heat and wear a hat to shield yourself from the sun. If you feel yourself getting too hot, remove the anything covering your head that can trap heat.
- Limit activity: if you must go outside, limit time spent doing strenuous activities. Medstar said heat stroke can occur in less than an hour, so make sure to drink water or sports drinks before, during and after strenuous activities outdoors.
- Check on loved ones: Call or visit any elderly friends or family to make sure they are staying cool and hydrated. Elderly can be the most vulnerable to heat-related problems.
- Kids and pets in hot cars: Never leave a child or pet in a hot car, even for a short time.