This June has been a scorcher in the South! With the hottest months of the year yet to come, dozens of cities across the nation are already dealing with dangerous, and even deadly, heat waves.
"What's occurred this month in terms of some of the record temperatures that have been reached and the persistence of the heat, has been noteworthy even by extreme standards," says The Weather Channel's Senior Meteorologist Stu Ostro ().
Just this week, a report from NOAA on the climate said 2010 tied for the .
Much of the state of Texas is in an exceptional drought, as are a half dozen states across the southern tier, including Florida, Georgia, and Arizona. Meteorologists say it will likely take something like a tropical storm, with prolonged drenching rains, to pull Texas out of its deepening drought.
The Southwest is struggling to control wildfires, fueled by winds and drought, scorching thousands of acres.
"The brunt of the exceptional heat has coincided with where the brunt of the drought is," says Ostro. "There have also been surges of heat into other locations, such as is going to happen during the remainder of this week."
It seems that 2011's heat and drought may be here for a time. We crunched the numbers through June 29th, and found some cities that have already posted a top five hottest June on record. Take a look at just a few of them.
Maybe the Big D should be known as the Big 3 ... for triple digits. June 18 of this year was the hottest day so far, reaching a whopping 104 degrees! The city's average temperature this month is 86.7 degrees, helping it reach its third hottest June on record.
"High pressure aloft has been a persistent feature in the south central states all month long," says weather.com meteorologist Chris Dolce. "Sinking air is located under this high, which compresses and as a result heats up."
- Residents asked to conserve energy/air conditioning during peak times of day to avoid blackouts;
- Electric Reliability Council of Texas set a June electric use record due to heat.
Fires have also been reported in the Dallas area this month. Just two weeks ago, a wildfire scorched more than 200 acres in Dallas and Ellis counties. Firefighters were treated for heat exhaustion. High temperatures and drought conditions played a role.
Oklahoma City, Okla.
Oklahoma City has the dubious distinction of being a severe weather mecca. This year, they also have the distinction of having one of their hottest June's on record. With an average temperatures of 83.9 degrees, June 2011 will rank among the top three hottest.
- At least 40 heat-related emergencies in two weeks;
- Heat a factor in death of one woman in Enid, an OKC suburb;
- Salvation Army opens cooling station.
Monday, June 27, was a banner day for Oklahoma City when it comes to heat. The high temp reached 103 degrees at Will Rogers Airport.
Also, June 29 was the 29th day the city reached or exceeded 90 degrees ... this month! That broke a 100-year-old record.
The heat just won't give Jackson a break. June 2011 will finish out near a top five hottest. 2010 was no better, coming in as the fifth hottest June on record. Their average temp this June was 83.4 degrees.
Vivian Brown, a meteorologist for The Weather Channel, is a native Mississippian. She spent part of her high school and college years in Jackson. “Almost everyone has a sheen of sweat and for some reason the shade from the trees seemed to help very little.”
Vivian says sometimes it was so hot they couldn't even go outside.
"You really can't enjoy the full spirit of being free to play. I remember spending many hours inside because it was just too hot," says Brown. "It's just unbearable. There's nothing like June or July in Mississippi."
- Jackson & Harrison counties banned fireworks due to extreme heat and drought;
- Meridian tied record high on Jun 3: 99 degrees;
- At least 3 heat-related deaths.
Jim Pollard with American Medical Response ambulance service says heat service calls pick up in this type of heat and he warned heat stroke is the most serious form of heat illness.
"Call 911 because this is a potentially fatal form of heat illness. And make sure you cool that person, not to the point of shivering, but cool that person pretty quickly," said Pollard.
Wichita Falls, Texas
This month will go down as Wichita Falls' hottest June on record (looking at statistics through June 28). Their average temp this month is a scorching 89.4.
It's so hot in Wichita Falls that home repair businesses say home foundations are becoming damaged. As the temps rise, the ground dries out earlier than usual. That's creating cracks in walls, door jambs, and even plumbing pipes.
- Hospitals treated 31 heat-related illnesses, as of June 19;
- Parks & Rec. Outdoor Summer concert moved inside due to extreme heat;
- Attendance skyrockets at local pools.
Animal Control officials in the Wichita Falls and Lubbock areas say they've had to pick a lot more wildlife affected by the prolonged drought and heat. As lakes dry up and temps soar birds, deer, bats, and other wildlife are moving into cities and neighborhoods in hopes of finding a more plentiful water source.
June 2011 will go down as the hottest June on record, examining statistics through June 29. The average temp this month is 85.9.
Lubbock also has the double whammy of experiencing one of their driest years on record. They've had only 1.10 inches of rain so far this year.
- Driest first half of any year on record;
- Burn bans are in effect;
- Wildfire danger is extreme;
- All fireworks banned for July 4th weekend.
Surprisingly, Lubbock hospitals say they haven't seen that many incidents of heat stroke and exhaustion. Dr. E. Joe Sasin, medical director of UMC Emergency Center and UMC Lubbock EMS, says when temps hit triple digits people tend to just stay inside.
"I think folks are being really smart," Sasin said.