If any of y'all were planning to take your annual vacation on the Texas Gulf Coast, you might want to hold off for a couple of months. It's going to be HOT....
The Houston area is under a heat advisory today that is caused by scorching temperatures and high humidity, National Weather Service officials said.
The advisory is issued after the heat index -- the combination of high temperatures and humidity -- hits at least the 108-degree mark.
While the temperature at Bush Intercontinental Airport hit a high of 97 degrees Monday -- the area's high temperature -- forecasters decided to initiate the advisory because conditions aren't expected to get any better. The heat index was 107 Monday, and it's expected to be higher today.
"We're expecting the high temperatures to be a degree or two hotter over the next couple of days," said weather service meteorologist Paul Lewis.
Kathy Barton, a spokeswoman for the city of Houston's Department of Health and Human Services, said people who need to should seek shelter in cooling centers at public libraries or park recreation centers....
Texas averages 68 heat deaths per year; 1998, with 98 fatalities, was the deadliest on record. Included in the state toll are immigrants who perish in South Texas deserts, railroad boxcars and, as happened recently, closed trailers.
For a death to be ruled heat-related, a body's core temperature must be 105 degrees or more, or the body must be found in a closed, hot environment. Sometimes a fan is running, which -- counter intuitively, perhaps -- can turn the room into a convection oven.
I spend my winters laughing at those of you unfortunate enough to live north of the Texas-Oklahoma border. Now is your chance to have a chuckle or two at my expense. I know; I've got it coming.
Because of my job, I often spend a good part of my afternoons outside. Yesterday, I was on Galveston Island (and outside) all afternoon. I'm still exhausted, and this afternoon may well be more of the same. I am trying to look on the bright side, though: October (and cooler temperatures) is now less than two months away.