Thursday, June 25, 2009

Houston heat emergency declared amid record temps

Houston’s relentless heat wave prompted the National Weather Service today to declare a “Heat Emergency,” a designation that air temperature and humidity is a potential health threat for all people and is particularly dangerous for high-risk groups.

The emergency designation is expected to last through Friday, said Houston health department spokeswoman Kathy Barton.

Barton said the health department has accordingly invoked its heat emergency plan, which involves working with Metro to bring people to designated cooling centers, such as libraries, and generally urging people to take extra precautions to stay inside.

It is not uncommon for the weather service to declare a heat emergency in Houston, though it didn’t happen last summer. Such an emergency is declared when the heat index, a computation of air temperature and humidity, reaches 108 degrees on two more consecutive days.

The index reached 108 Wednesday and is expected to reach that level today and Friday. Houston's actual temperature hit 104 degrees Wednesday, the hottest it's ever gotten in June.

State electric regulators, meanwhile, will consider a request by consumer groups and a Houston lawmaker for an immediate ban on electric service disconnects because of the continuing heat wave.

The abnormally severe heat -- yes, even for Houston -- is not expected to abate through the next 10 days or more, according to the National Weather Service.

"Today and tomorrow both, we have the potential to set records," said Matt Moreland, a weather-service meteorologist.

A high pressure area, which more common in July and August, has parked over most of the state for weeks. It has prevented rainshowers from reaching the area, plunging Houston into a moderate drought and keeping the official weather service rain gauge at Bush Intercontinental Airport from getting measurable precipitation all month.

High temperaures Friday and through the weekend and much of next week are predicted to be near triple digits, and overnight lows will be near 80 degrees. Isolated showers are possible, but no major rain systems are expected to move into the area.


D. Gudger said...

Ugh. And I think 80 degrees is too hot. I pray you guys get some rain and relief soon.

I have another friend in Houston who's miserable b/c of the heat and drought.

Erika Jean said...

we get the hottt temps here in AZ - but u have the humidity :-/ It didn't seem too bad when we were driving though tX

Erika Jean said...

I didn't know where to respond to your comment on my postcrossing post - as many people don't come back to read answers so I usual e-mail (and couldn't find ur e-mail) I hope you get this.

I have my postcards made from my pictures on (made through however I have bought them while traveling and also at Walgreen and Walmart. I have even found them at the grocery store. Sometimes they put them in weird spots - so its always good to ask.

If you have a cracker barrel around you... I'm sure they have some!

You can always by some card stock and make your own ;-)

wasim said...
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