Record-long extreme heat streaks are finally coming to an end, but despite the signs of relief, the dangerous heat isn’t going away completely. The relentless heat dome driving the deadly heat wave will meander across the southern tier of the US this week, bringing more record-breaking temperatures.
The numbers so far this summer have been jaw-dropping: In El Paso, Texas, the high temperature topped 100 degrees for a record-breaking 44 straight days; in Miami, the heat index stayed above 100 degrees for 46 consecutive days; and in Phoenix, temperatures have been at or above 110 degrees for 31 consecutive days.
All of those streaks will have ended by Monday if Phoenix hits its closer-to-average forecast high of 108 degrees.
It’s been so hot for so long the average temperature for Phoenix for the month of July set a record at 103 degrees, shattering the previous one by 4 degrees. It goes to show this heat has been exceptional even for one of the nation’s hottest cities.
“It’s been a year of abnormalities and streaks, so it’s just a testament to just how strange this year has been,” said Ryan Worley, meteorologist for the National Weather Service office in Phoenix.
Why temperatures have been so hot
Phoenix has yet to join other parts of the state with measurable monsoon rain, something that the city is desperately counting on to cool temperatures down. If Phoenix receives rainfall Monday, it would be the third latest monsoon rainfall on record.
The city will get a slight “break” from the heat Monday and Tuesday as the threat of monsoon rains rolls through, but highs will be back up above 110 degrees by midweek, possibly making it to 116 degrees by the weekend.
In pictures: Heat wave spans across US coasts
Meanwhile, with little rain for relief, more than 40 million people across the Deep South and Southern Plains are still under heat alerts. More than 140 potential high temperature records could fall again this week, as the oppressive heat shows no signs of backing down across the country’s midsection.
It is especially true in Dallas. The city could experience its hottest days of the year this week, with highs potentially topping 110 degrees on Tuesday.
High temperatures will stay in the triple digits all the way through the weekend, at times running as much as 10 degrees above normal.
Little Rock, Arkansas, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and Houston will feel as hot as 110 degrees or higher Monday and much of the week, with no relief in sight. Unfortunately, there is no real chance of cooler temperatures for some of the hottest locations for the foreseeable future, as this dome of high pressure responsible for the extreme heat won’t budge.