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Is there any relief in sight for the scorching southern Plains?

By Brandon Buckingham, AccuWeather Meteorologist
August 13, 2019, 10:18:53 AM EDT

A shifting weather pattern will bring an end to the searing heat for some across the southern Plains around midweek -- but not everyone.

The southern Plains scorched under the blazing sunshine this past weekend as a dome of high pressure sat over Texas.

Heat ThruTues

Houston, Dallas, and Lubbock, Texas; Oklahoma City and even Dodge City, Kansas, all recorded high temperatures exceeding 100 degrees Fahrenheit. AccuWeather RealFeel® Temperatures have been well over 100.

The extent of the triple-digit heat will finally ease early this week as a pattern shift is in store for the southern Plains.

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"The broad area of high pressure that has kept the intense heat cranking across the South Central states since last week will shift westward at midweek, taking the core of the hot air with it," AccuWeather Meteorologist Renee Duff explained.

By Wednesday, both Dallas and Houston are forecast to end their streak of 100-degree days at five and six respectively. While the extreme heat will relax a bit, it will still remain seasonably hot for these cities, with forecast highs in the middle to upper 90s.

"Even though the heat will not be as intense and will instead be more typical of this time of year, residents will want to continue to take the necessary precautions to protect against heat-related illnesses." Duff explained. "This includes limiting strenuous activities during the hottest part of the day, drinking plenty of water and taking frequent breaks whenever outdoors."

While the heat will ease for most across the southern Plains, South Texas will continue to endure stifling summer heat.

Laredo, Texas, which lies near the southeastern border with Mexico, has not recorded a high temperature below 100 degrees since July 26 and there is no relief in sight. Daily high temperature records are forecast to be challenged through at least Thursday, with AccuWeather RealFeel® Temperatures pushing above 110 degrees all week.

Laredo triple-digit heat

Triple-digit heat is common in Laredo this time of year, but the city has been on quite a run of above-average triple-digit heat going back into late July.

Temperatures topped out at 109 on Monday and last Thursday, making these the only two occurrences in the last eight years that Laredo has seen such scorching August heat. Prior to that, August 29, 2011 was the last time Laredo hit 109 during the month of August. Temperatures could top out at the same mark or higher on Tuesday.

Triple-digit heat is very common this time of year in Laredo, but, as the chart above shows, the city has been in a stretch lately in which it's been experiencing temperatures that are well above average.

Over to the east of Laredo, 2019 has been a particularly hot year for both Brownsville and Corpus Christi.

Each of those cities has seen the second-most hundred-degree days on record so far this year. Brownsville has experienced five 100-degree days so far this year, the most since it tallied six hundred-degree days in 1918.

Corpus Christi has recorded four days of triple-digit heat so far this year, fewer than half the days it saw the mercury reach at least 100 in 2012 when the city recorded nine days of hundred-degree heat.

The dry conditions that have been observed across Texas this past week has expanded the areas experiencing abnormally dry to drought conditions. According to the United States Drought Monitor, nearly 47% of the state is experiencing at least abnormally dry conditions, compared to only 23.5% last week.

With a shifting weather pattern coming up this week, portions of the southern Plains will finally have some rain returning to the forecast around midweek. Since many cities across Texas are running a rainfall deficit for the month, any additional rainfall will benefit the area.

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