Sweltering heat has been the dominant weather theme across the Dallas metropolitan area through the start of June. Daily high temperatures haven't dropped below 79 degrees Fahrenheit since the start of the month, and AccuWeather meteorologists say more hot weather is on the way.
As a heat dome builds across the city, AccuWeather forecasters expect temperatures to exceed triple digits and jeopardize several daily high-temperature records. Additionally, AccuWeather RealFeel® Sun temperatures will climb quite high, making this stretch of searing heat particularly dangerous.
• Thursday, June 22, could be the first triple-digit temperature day of the year for the city: According to AccuWeather Meteorologist Mary Gilbert, the first triple-digit reading typically happens within the first few days of July. However, last year, the first 100-degree day came early when the temperature hit 103 on June 11.
• Daily high-temperature records could be in jeopardy: As high pressure continues to build in the upper levels of the atmosphere just south of the southern U.S. border, temperatures will steadily climb in the coming days. On Friday, the high temperature in Dallas is expected to reach 99 degrees F. The record high temperature for that day, which was set nearly 100 years ago in 1924, is 103 degrees F. Next week, high temperatures are forecast to be within a few degrees of daily records.
• AccuWeather RealFeel® Sun temperatures will create dangerous conditions: On the hottest days, the AccuWeather RealFeel® Sun temperatures will reach upwards of 107 degrees F. These high temperatures could lead to heat-related injuries, such as heatstroke and heat exhaustion.
Aerial photograph of the Dallas skyline at sunrise (Getty Images/Westend61)
"A dome of heat is essentially an area of high pressure that extends to most levels of the atmosphere - from near the ground to the level where jets fly," said AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski. "Since air generally sinks beneath a high pressure area, it warms up because the air is being compressed as it descends."
However, when the air aloft is already warm to begin with, it gets even warmer as it sinks closer to the ground. As the heat dome sticks around, this feedback loop continues to produce warmer weather at the surface layer of the atmosphere.
The AccuWeather RealFeel® Sun temperature takes into account more than a dozen factors to provide an accurate measure of how representative the forecast weather conditions will feel to an appropriately dressed person.
A heat advisory has been issued for Dallas and surrounding areas until 8 p.m. CDT on Friday, June 16. Knowing the difference between a watch, advisory and warning is crucial.
• An excessive heat watch is issued when conditions are favorable for an excessive heat event in the next 12 to 48 hours, according to the NWS. A watch is used when the risk of a heat wave has increased, but the timing and occurrence are still uncertain.
• An excessive heat warning or advisory is issued when an excessive heat event is occurring, is imminent or has a very high probability of occurrence, according to the NWS. The difference between a warning and an advisory is the severity of the heat. High heat conditions that pose a significant threat to life warrant a warning, while less serious conditions call for an advisory.
"Heat will last through the weekend and into much of next week at the very least," said Gilbert. "Minimal true relief is in sight. Highs will mainly remain in the upper 90s to low 100s."
AccuWeather meteorologists are closely monitoring the northern edge of the heat dome, as there will be multiple rounds of fast-moving thunderstorm complexes into next week.
These powerful storms, referred to as derechos, can behave like inland hurricanes with the potential for damaging winds along a path hundreds of miles long. The proximity of the severe thunderstorms is likely to lead to airline disruptions at Dallas-Fort Worth Airport on occasion.
One such risk for severe weather and dangerous and disruptive conditions associated with high winds, large hail and torrential downpours will be into Thursday night.
The combination of hot weather and high humidity can quickly cause heat-related illnesses to set in. Knowing the difference between heatstroke and heat exhaustion could save a life.
• Heat exhaustion: is the precursor to heatstroke and directly results from the body overheating. According to the Mayo Clinic, heat exhaustion is identifiable by heavy sweating, rapid pulse, dizziness, fatigue, cool, moist skin with goose bumps when in the heat, muscle cramps, nausea and headache.
• Heatstroke: is the most severe heat-related illness. Without emergency treatment, it can lead to death. It results when your body temperature rises to 104 degrees F or higher. In addition to a high body temperature, the symptoms of heatstroke include altered mental state or behavior, nausea and vomiting, flushed skin, rapid breathing and racing heart rate.
The difference between heat exhaustion and heat stroke. (National Weather Service)
• Hot car dangers: The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reminds all parents to "look before you lock" to ensure no child is left behind in a vehicle. If the outdoor temperature is 100 degrees F, it will only take 30 minutes for the temperature inside the car to reach 134 degrees F. After an hour, the temperature inside the vehicle could be near 150 degrees F. Researchers also note that children can die from heatstroke in a car even when the outside temperatures are as low as 60 degrees F.
• Hot pavement: Pavement, especially asphalt, can absorb a lot of heat. During this surge of hot weather in Dallas, pet owners should be extra cautious about the time they are walking their animals. Since the temperature will be above 85 degrees F, the pavement will be too hot to safely walk a dog, according to the American Kennel Club. Walks in the early morning and late evening, once the pavement has had a chance to cool down, are suggested.
Wear loose, light-colored clothing
Limit outdoor activities
Stay out of the heat
Keep your home cool
Take cool showers or baths
Never leave children in parked vehicles
Check on older adults, people who are sick and those without air conditioner units
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