Why is it so scorching? Austin breaks warmth index data with 118-degree temperatures recorded final month

Kevin Kim

Individuals swim and lounge at Barton Springs Pool on July 1, 2023.

Final month, Austin broke its heat-index document after 118-degree temperatures have been recorded at Camp Mabry on June 21, in keeping with the Nationwide Climate Service. 

Texas, amongst different states in the USA, will stay extraordinarily scorching throughout the remainder of the summer time with excessive temperatures ranging between 90 and 100 levels Fahrenheit. Based on the Nationwide Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, excessive warmth waves have develop into extra frequent over the previous few many years.

Warmth domes are a phenomenon that typically exacerbate summertime warmth. They happen when high-pressure circulation within the ambiance acts cap-like and traps warmth on the floor. 

Judson Partin, a analysis scientist on the Jackson College of Geosciences’ Institute for Geophysics, stated Austin’s warmth index or “looks like temperature” could be partially blamed on excessive humidity, sufficient to make temperatures really feel greater than they really are.

“Whenever you evaporate water out of your physique, you’re really cooled off, which is why the physique sweats,” Partin stated. “When it will get extra humid, you’re nonetheless sweating however your sweat isn’t evaporating and also you’re not cooling off due to that.”

Partin stated the warmth in Texas “self-reinforces,” which means the state’s ambiance, with loads of daylight and few clouds, dries soils out quicker, and dry soil makes for warmer situations.  

“These scorching droughts are actually powerful, and the way in which they actually break is when it begins raining sufficient to disrupt the ambiance, knock the excessive stress out, after which the soil will get moist once more,” Partin stated. “When the soil is moist, it takes extra warmth to lift the temperature.”

Partin stated another excuse for greater temperatures in the summertime is constantly hotter nights, attributable to local weather change. For the reason that land doesn’t cool in a single day, warmth can worsen the following day, Partin stated. 

“The human physique likes round 72, 73, 74 levels Fahrenheit, so if the in a single day low is like 77, you’re by no means going to cease operating your AC,” Partin stated.

To stop warmth exhaustion and warmth stroke, The Texas Division of State Well being Providers warns residents to take precautions like ingesting loads of water, by no means sitting in parked or turned-off autos and taking motion on the first indicators of warmth sickness. To remain cool, Austinites can go to numerous cooling facilities and swimming pools all through the town.