I think living in Texas this year is going to be a little on the unbearable side. Normally, our seasons go Spring-Summer-Indian Summer-Fall (with a dash of winter thrown in); then we start all over again with Spring the next year. 2005, however, went along the lines of Spring-Summer-Indian Summer-Extended Summer. This year, Extended Summer kept rolling on through January and February and into March. Roughly towards the end of March we finally got a break in temperatures, and the season actually switched into Spring. Over this weekend, however, it already showed signs of switching back into Summer.
On the 17th, we had literally the hottest day in recorded Dallas history. 101° was the “official” temperature, with some places reporting up to 113°. And that is without our normal heat index even being added in!! Prior to this year, the hottest April 17th occured back in 1925 – with a high of 94°. The heat was so bad here Monday, that there was such a high demand on electricity due to A/C’s working overtime – the electric company started doing rolling blackouts. I was lucky, the area I live in is not one of the “pre-determined” areas that the power was being shut off at for 15 minutes at a time. I was also lucky I didn’t have to drive home through any of those areas, since it was also effecting traffic signals.
While I’m being a weather geek here, let me also add the following info, quoted from a Wikipedia article on the Heat Wave of 80:
In Dallas, Texas, high temperatures exceeded 100°F for 69 days between June 23 and September 6. Dallas reached an all-time high on June 26 and 27, soaring to 113°F (45°C) on both days. In the summer of 1980 in Dallas, there were 29 days that either tied or broke records for those respective dates. Wichita Falls, Texas would hit 119°F (48°C), the second-highest temperature ever recorded in Texas.
What they fail to mention, is that we also had 42 straight days of triple-digit temperatures that summer. I turned 6 at the end of that summer, so I don’t have the best recollection of it or how hot it was – but I do have some memories from it. Mostly due to the fact that I had an Aunt visiting from England that summer, and I remember going places in and around downtown with her, outdoors, in that sweltering heat. If we’re already hitting temps over 100° in the middle of April … how bad is it going to get when summer actually DOES start?
Thankfully the weather took a sudden dip in temperature, due to storms that have moved through our area. It’s sad, though, to know this probably won’t last too long. We’re already in a drought situation – pretty much have been since last year – and it’s likely only to get worse. April is usually a fairly rainy month here in Texas, and we’ve barely had any. This summer, the drought is likely only to get worse, as we go through day after day of scorching heat and no rain.
The only reason I think the drought MIGHT break, is I think there’s a very good chance the hurricane season will be even worse this year than last. (Keep in mind, these are all just guesses by me – I have no real training in meterology or anything. haha.) But, I do think that Houston or even further west on the Texas coast is likely to get hit by a pretty decent sized storm this summer. If that does happen, we’re likely to get some of the cast-off rain from the storm as it moves further inland, since we’ll be on the east side of potential storm paths. So, yeah, if that does happen, like I think it might, then we’ll end up with some rain this summer. I’m just hoping I’m wrong. I’d rather have a drought and water rationing, then see the kind of devastation that hit New Orleans happen again. :-\
Either way, it makes me wish all the more I was in Los Angeles. Even if something happened and they had a hotter year than normal – it would still likely be cooler than it is here.