Extreme heat moves into Texas this weekend

We’ve been talking about the heat this week, and upcoming weekend, for quite a while and unfortunately it will be as bad or worse than expected. The heat is especially extreme in the northern half of Texas, where high temperatures may reach 110 degrees, and areas such as Dallas and Fort Worth will see some of the worst heat since 2011. Heat advisories have been issued for the northern half of Texas, as well as some more extreme heat warnings for DFW and surrounding areas.

Heat advisory (orange) and warning (purple) map for Thursday. (Pivotal Weather)

Additionally, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, or ERCOT, reported on Wednesday that it set a new, all-time systemwide peak demand record during the afternoon, reaching 72,192 MW between 4 and 5 p.m. Electricity usage will only get higher this weekend as it gets slightly hotter than now, and you can help by conserving electricity (see how at the end of this post).

Thursday

Houston, with its proximity to the Gulf of Mexico, won’t bake quite as much as northern Texas due to high pressures. But it will still be hot and sunny. Expect highs in the upper 90s with lows tonight near 80 degrees.

Friday, Saturday, and Sunday

If anything, the heat will kick up a bit this weekend. We will probably see the region’s first 100-degree day in a year, and perhaps we’ll get a few days of them in a row. Regardless it will remain extremely hot. Take care outside during the daytime.

Only thermophiles will enjoy Friday’s forecast high temperatures. (Pivotal Weather)

Next week

The heat continues on Monday and Tuesday, but by Wednesday or Thursday we could see a pattern change as high pressure breaks down, rain chances increase, and temperatures fall back into the mid-90s. This pattern change isn’t locked in by any means, but I do think there’s a reasonable chance the extreme heat breaks in about a week.

Sponsor note

Well, we’re coming to it. The hottest time of the year. The time when it is virtually impossible to live in Southeast Texas without air conditioning. But heavy use of the AC both costs you money, and also stresses the state’s electrical grid. Our sponsor, Reliant, has some quick and easy suggestions to conserve energy when it is blistering outside:

  • Raise thermostat setting. During the summer, setting your thermostat four degrees higher when you’re away from home for more than four hours can help reduce electricity usage and costs. When your thermostat is set below 78 degrees, each degree cooler may increase your costs by up to five percent.
  • Avoid heat-generating activities. Avoid using the oven, dishwasher, washing machine or dryer during peak daytime temperatures (2-7 p.m.), which can cause your AC to work harder and increase your electric bill.
  • Close blinds, curtains or shades during the summer to reduce solar heat gain by up to 50 percent.

Reliant also has a cool program that rewards customers for making small changes to conserve energy during periods of high electricity demand. The Degrees of Difference program gives customers bill credits when they respond to usage reduction requests, which helps reduce the load on the Texas electricity grid. Click here to learn more and sign up.

21 thoughts on “Extreme heat moves into Texas this weekend

  1. Jonathan

    During the summer is when we are more likely to have someone home all day long since kids are out of school. So whereas I have the thermostat at 82 during the day during the school year, I keep it at the same temperature all day during the summer.

    And now I can tell the family I’m not being lazy by not starting dinner until after 7. I’m trying to conserve energy. 😉

  2. lee

    Yeah, I got an email yesterday from my electricity provider about the importance of conserving. Working from home makes that both easier and more difficult—I can stick the t-stat on 79 during the day and do the laundry and dishes during off-peak hours in the mid-morning, but it all makes for a miserable and sweltering experience.

    However, the best thing we ever did was to re-zone our house AC to segregate the master bed/bath from everything else—they did it with automatic valves, rather than with a second compressor and separate ductwork. In the evening after about 9pm the rest of the house goes to 78 and the bedroom goes to 70. The AC cools the bedroom off very, very quickly and it makes for absolutely blissful nights without high electricity bills.

  3. Armando D.

    Oh my it is so hot! We are just staying in these days. My dear Fulgencio enjoys the heat but me not so much. Our Walloon friend Zénobe is visiting this week and we fear he might melt! Thank you for the update as always and blessings of cold to all.

      1. Chuck

        So true. On a visit to AK a few years ago during early July, we were on a walking tour of downtown Anchorage, thoroughly enjoying the lower humidity 80 F weather (it was about 95 F in Houston).

        Talking to some locals, we found they were “dying in this hot weather.” When I told them it was a “toasty 95” in Houston, their eyes glazed over!

      1. Blackhawks Fan

        The nice thing about the mid-South is you get four seasons (called “Spring”, “Summer”, “Fall”, and “Winter”) and none of them are extreme. When my parents retired to the Cumberland Plateau, the coldest I ever remember it being was 19F (with ice fog), the hottest was low 90s with low humidity.

        Here you get two seasons: Stinking Hot, and Not So Stinking Hot.

        1. Chuck

          I agree that we get “SH” and “NSSH” most years. But recall early 2018 ice storm and 5 nights in the teens!

          1. TimP

            While I’ll be the last to defend Houston’s climate (did anyone else note the Houston Zika commercials during the World Cup?) and don’t think it’s entirely unrealistic that my home in the Heights-ish area could one day be beachfront property, we do still get our fair share of ‘California’ weather in the winter.

            It gets just as hot and humid in the Mid-West. Just not for as long. Yet.

          2. Chuck

            Good point about MW. Lived in St Louis. “Swamp-like” conditions at times just like Houston
            Also lived in Tulsa. Not as humid, but also had to dodge tornadoes.

  4. mark

    I’m happy to be in Alexandria VA these days and not Spring. Today is mid to upper 80’s and low humidity! Won’t last, of course, but it’s a nice little break. Stay cool, people.

  5. Blackhawks Fan

    You know, I’m really having a chuckle with the media hype about “record electricity demand”. What were they expecting, anyway? When I moved here in 1980, there were maybe 15 million people in Texas, now there are about 28 million, and climbing. Which group is going to use more electricity? Hmmmm…. let me think about that one…..

      1. Blackhawks Fan

        I know. It’s also laughable to watch them cover refinery or chemical plant incidents. Especially if I know the plant in question.

        1. Chuck

          Yep.

          As a retiree from the “evil oil refining industry,” I’ve seen them go “apes**t” if a refinery flare gets big due to an upset inside the plant. They have zero understanding that this is what is supposed to happen to prevent an explosion / fire / loss of life / huge hydrocarbon spill into waterways.

          The thing that really irks me is all they would have to do is ask any engineer why the flare got so big.

          1. Blackhawks Fan

            We had a small fire in our Houston plant within the past year. Too big for fire extinguishers, so we hit it with a fire monitor and of course had the plant fire truck and ER team nearby. But to listen to the Fox26 helicopter overhead, it sounded like the plant was going to burn down or explode. Sheesh.

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