Texas Heat Wave is An All-Time Records, Expected To Continue Into Next Week

Texas is currently in the grips of a scorching heat wave that has shattered several all-time temperature records and shows no signs of relenting as it extends into the coming week. The state is experiencing extreme heat and dangerously hot conditions, prompting heat advisories and warnings across vast areas[1]. On Sunday, numerous record highs were set, with temperatures soaring above 110 degrees Fahrenheit (43 degrees Celsius) in many places, including Houston, which matched its highest recorded temperature for July[1]. This prolonged heat wave is expected to persist until next Tuesday, with heat indexes surpassing 110 degrees in southeastern Texas[1].

The oppressive heat has put immense strain on the state's power grid, raising concerns about its capacity to meet the surging electricity demand. The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) has issued an appeal for conservation, as the power demand nears the total generation capacity during peak hours[1]. Texas' independent power grid presents challenges during times of high demand, as evidenced by the power outages experienced during the February 2021 cold wave. Cities such as Austin and Dallas have also witnessed record-breaking temperatures, further highlighting the intensity of the heat wave[1].

The heat wave is not limited to Texas alone. Other parts of the US South are also grappling with scorching temperatures, and over 40 million people are under heat alerts. Corpus Christi, in particular, has experienced unprecedented heat indices[2]. The heat dome, caused by trapped hot ocean air, has settled over Mexico and parts of the US southwest. Climate experts emphasize that human-caused climate change has significantly contributed to the intensity and duration of this heat wave[2].

The heat wave's impact is not limited to discomfort and power strain. Power outages have occurred, leading to distressing conditions for residents, and emergency crews are dealing with a surge in calls for assistance[2]. Moreover, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported an average of 702 heat-related deaths annually in the US, underscoring the risks associated with such extreme weather events[2]. In response to the devastating impacts, an Oregon county has filed a lawsuit against fossil fuel companies, alleging accountability for the heatwave[2].

Houston, often referred to as "the most air-conditioned city in the world," is enduring a historic heat spell with soaring temperatures breaking records[3]. The National Weather Service has issued warnings for record-breaking heat, urging individuals to stay indoors to seek refuge from the scorching conditions[3]. The excessive heat has disrupted daily life, affecting outdoor activities and increasing the risk of heat-related illnesses such as heatstroke[3]. The Electric Reliability Council of Texas has appealed for electricity conservation to manage the strain on the power grid[3].

This heat wave is not an isolated event but part of a larger pattern of increasingly frequent and intense heat waves influenced by human-caused climate change[4]. Texas, in particular, is expected to experience a surface temperature increase of 3 degrees Fahrenheit (1.7 degrees Celsius) by 2036 compared to the latter half of the 20th century[5][1]. As the heat wave persists, temperatures are projected to hover around 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38 degrees Celsius) in major cities for the next week or so[5]. The lack of rainfall exacerbates drought conditions, compounding the challenges faced by the region[5].

Authorities and residents alike are urged to remain vigilant, take necessary precautions, and prioritize the well-being of individuals during this ongoing heat wave. Stay tuned to local weather updates and follow guidelines from relevant authorities to ensure safety and mitigate the impact of this extreme weather event.

A heat wave can bring extreme temperatures and pose significant health risks, especially for vulnerable individuals. To ensure your safety and well-being during a heat wave, it is essential to be prepared with the necessary items. Here is a comprehensive list of items that can help you stay cool and protected during a heat wave.

  1. Emergency Kit: Create an emergency kit with the following essential supplies:

    • Sufficient water: Store an ample supply of drinking water to stay hydrated.
    • Non-perishable food: Stock up on canned or dry foods that do not require refrigeration.
    • Medications: Ensure an adequate supply of prescription medications.
    • First aid kit: Include basic medical supplies such as bandages, antiseptic, and fever-reducing medication.
    • Battery-operated fan: Use a portable fan in case of power outages.
    • Flashlight and extra batteries: Have a reliable light source ready.
    • Portable phone charger: Keep your devices charged for communication.

  2. Hydration: Staying hydrated is crucial during a heat wave. Consider the following:

    • Water bottles: Carry reusable water bottles to have water readily available.
    • Electrolyte drinks: Include electrolyte-rich beverages to replenish lost minerals.
    • Cooler or insulated bag: Use these to keep your drinks and snacks cool.

  3. Stay Cool Indoors: Create a cool and comfortable environment indoors with these items:

    • Air conditioning or fans: If available, use air conditioning to maintain a cool temperature. Fans can also help circulate the air.
    • Window insulation: Insulate windows with blinds, curtains, or reflective films to block out heat.
    • Wet towels or misting fan: Use wet towels or a misting fan to lower body temperature.
    • Cooling gel pads or pillows: These can provide instant relief from the heat.

      Radians Arctic Radwear® Cooling Towel

      Radians Arctic Radwear® Cooling Towel

  4. Protective Gear: Protect yourself from the sun's harmful rays and stay comfortable with the following:

    • Sunscreen: Apply sunscreen with a high SPF to protect your skin from sunburn.
    • Lightweight clothing: Wear loose-fitting, breathable clothing in light colors to reflect sunlight.
    • Wide-brimmed hat: Shield your face and neck from direct sunlight.
    • Sunglasses: Protect your eyes from UV rays.

  5. Communication and Information: Stay informed and connected during a heat wave with these items:

    • Portable weather radio: Keep a battery-powered weather radio to receive updates on heat advisories and warnings.
    • Fully charged mobile phone: Ensure your phone is charged and consider having a portable charger.
    • Emergency contact list: Keep a list of important phone numbers, including local authorities and healthcare providers.

  6. Pet Care: Don't forget to take care of your furry friends during a heat wave:

    • Fresh water and food: Ensure your pets have access to clean and cool water.
    • Shade and shelter: Provide shaded areas for your pets to rest and cool off.
    • Cooling mats or vests: Consider using cooling mats or vests designed for pets.
    • Never leave pets in parked vehicles: Temperatures inside vehicles can rise to dangerous levels rapidly.

Conclusion: Surviving a heat wave requires proper preparation and the right supplies. By following these guidelines and having the necessary items, you can stay cool, hydrated, and protected during extreme heat. Remember to prioritize the most vulnerable individuals, stay informed about local weather forecasts, and take necessary precautions to ensure your safety and well-being.


[1] Washington Post: Extreme heat pushes highs over 110 in Texas as power grid nears brink
[2] India Today: Texas witnesses record-breaking heatwave for third week
[3] Washington Post: Texas heat wave: Houston endures record temperatures [4] Washington Post: Texas toast: Heat crushed records Saturday and will swell northward
[5] Texas Standard: Here’s what you need to know about the heat wave gripping Texas