Houston Joins 100-Degree Record Club

August 17, 2011; 2:35 PM ET
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"Wednesday marked the 17th straight day...of temperatures soaring to past the century mark in Houston."

Houston became the latest Texas city to break a record pertaining to the triple-digit heat that has been in control this summer.

Houston recently joined Wichita Falls and Waco in surpassing records for the greatest number of consecutive 100-degree days. The benchmark for the record at all three locations was originally 1980.

Wednesday marked the 17th straight day, or every day so far this month, of temperatures soaring to past the century mark in Houston.

The previous record from 1980 stood at 14 days.

The record streaks set by Wichita Falls and Waco came to an end this past weekend at 52 days and 44 days, respectively.

Dallas came within two days of tying its consecutive 100-degree day record, which remains at 42 days from also 1980.

The reason for the length of these records being significantly lower in Houston when compared to the other cities is Houston's close proximity to the Gulf of Mexico.

Temperatures in Houston are typically influenced by the cooling effect of the Gulf of Mexico, a phenomena that cannot happen at the other landlocked cities.

Houston is also closing in on the record for the most 100-degree days (not necessarily occurring consecutively) for an entire summer season.

The record is 32 days from 1980, while the total so far this summer (as of Tuesday) stands at 27 days. Houston will add to the current tally this week with a chance to tie the record on Sunday.

Houston typically warms to 95 degrees during the middle of August.

As is the case throughout Texas, the persistent heat in Houston is being accompanied by an extreme need for rain.

The dark red on this image, released by the United States Drought Monitor last Thursday, displays where an exceptional drought is under way. That drought status is being endured by just over 78 percent of the state.

This year is the driest to date for Houston since record keeping began in 1889. The city has only received 10.93 inches of rain, well below the nearly 30 inches that typically falls.

Houston averages 3 inches or more of rain each month. However, there have only been two occasions so far this year (January and July) when the monthly rain total exceeded an inch.

AccuWeather.com Meteorologist Brian Edwards recently stated that there are two ways that would bring substantial heat and drought relief to Texas--a strong cold front or a tropical system.

The arrival of such features, however, is not on the horizon.


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