Limited relief to come to sweltering south-central US early this week
By Kristina Pydynowski, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
July 24, 2018, 9:14:23 PM EDT
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The intense record heat baking the south-central United States is expected to get trimmed back through Tuesday, but a sweep of refreshing air is not on the horizon.
Monday marked another day of record-challenging heat in Dallas, Midland, Houston, San Antonio, El Paso and Laredo, Texas, as well as Carlsbad, New Mexico.
Waco, Texas, recorded an all-time record high for any date to kick off the week when the mercury soared to 114 degrees Fahrenheit. The city had never registered a high at or above 110 degrees in July prior to Monday.
Slightly cooler air settled over areas north of I-20 on Monday. This trend is forecast to spread farther to the south on Tuesday.
"After several days of extreme heat in the south-central U.S., some moderation is expected through Tuesday as the core of the heat shifts to the Southwest," AccuWeather Meteorologist Max Vido said.
The greatest degree of cooling is anticipated in the Texas Panhandle, where triple-digit heat will be replaced by highs in the 80s and lower 90s by Tuesday.
"The heat in northern Texas, including around Dallas, will relax on Tuesday," Vido said.
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While the heat will not be as extreme north of I-10 come Tuesday, residents should not stop practicing heat precautions.
"Afternoon highs near 100 degrees are still expected in northern Texas the remainder of the week," Vido said. "That is about 5 degrees above normal during what is typically the hottest time of the year."
"The nights may stay warm as well with lows in Dallas struggling to drop below 80s," he said.
Any drop in temperatures will be less noticeable farther south and west in El Paso, Laredo and Brownsville this week.
Temperatures will continue to approach or exceed the century mark in these cities through the week with dangerously higher AccuWeather RealFeel® Temperatures.
"The extended period of heat across Texas will put vulnerable populations at risk, especially young children and the elderly," Vido said.
Be sure to drink plenty of water, wear light-colored clothing and avoid strenuous activities during the midday and afternoon hours (the hottest times of the day). Never leave children or pets in a sealed vehicle without air conditioning even for a short period of time.
As of July 23, there has been 28 child hot car fatalities in the United States, according to KidsandCars.org. This includes a 3 year old that was left in a hot vehicle in Houston on July 19.
"Higher-than-normal energy demand is expected to continue for the region," Vido said.
Away from the Texas Panhandle, thunderstorm activity is expected to be limited during the week. That may cause the drought to further worsen.
The U.S. Drought Monitor reported on Thursday that 66 percent of the area from Texas and Oklahoma to the lower Mississippi River Valley was abnormally dry or in the midst of a drought.
Residents are urged to continue water conservation practices.
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