Dangerous heat levels return to East Texas

A big ridge of high pressure will continue to hold its grip over the Deep South, giving way to more triple digit heat.
A big ridge of high pressure will continue to hold its grip over the Deep South, giving way to more triple digit heat.

EAST TEXAS (KTRE) - The hottest stretch of weather we have experienced so far in 2012 has arrived to the Piney Woods.  The combination of triple digit heat and high humidity levels will lead to heat indices or feels like temperatures ranging from 106-110° each afternoon over the next couple of days.  This is very reminiscent of what we saw for the duration of 2011, which was the hottest year on record.

As a result of these high heat index values, a heat advisory has been posted for Angelina, Cherokee, Jasper, Nacogdoches, Newton, Rusk, Sabine, San Augustine, Shelby, and Tyler counties through this evening.

At this time last year, we had already hit or exceeded the century mark ten times.  Even though today will only be the third day of triple digit heat this summer, it is still dangerous considering we have not experienced this type of dangerous heat since last September.

Why So Hot?

The reason for our heat wave has to do with a big dome of hot, high pressure, which is currently centered over Kansas and Oklahoma.  With this high pressure ridge overhead, that forces the air to sink, and ultimately, prevents the clouds from building into afternoon showers and storms.  In return, this allows temperatures to really heat up and usually leads to these heat waves that we encounter from time-to-time during this time of year.

We do expect this ridge of high pressure to gradually weaken and shift position, allowing our temperatures to come down a few notches by the end of the week.

Safety Precautions

With these sizzling temperatures outdoors, there are several ways in which you can stay cool and beat the heat.

  • Seek the air conditioning, especially between the hours of 10am-6pm.
  • If you or someone you know does not have air conditioning, please consider visiting a cooling center or public venue, such as a library, mall, or movie theater.
  • Make sure you check up on the elderly and the young.
  • Drink plenty of non-alcoholic beverages to stay hydrated.  Water and Gatorade products usually work the best.
  • If you have to be outdoors, take frequent breaks and seek the shade as much as possible.

While this summer will be no match for the record heat of 2011, this heat can still be a shock to the system and still requires you and me to get acclimated to it.

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