Here's A Guide To Staying Cool During The Heat Wave
This post has been updated.
The recent heat wave has brought record-breaking temperatures, according to the National Weather Service, which is forecasting a high of between 104 and 108 degrees this afternoon. Around 3:50 p.m., the temperature hit 109.
Temperatures at Camp Mabry have been above 100 since Tuesday. The excessive heat is caused by a number of factors, including the typical high pressure overhead and dry air, Cory Van Pelt, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, said.
"Dry air tends to heat up a little bit more than humid air," he said. "And we have some fairly dry soil out there that also contributes."
The recent Saharan dust clouds are also adding to the intense heat by preventing storms from forming and helping to cool things down.
Austin Travis County EMS said it has received 16 calls so far today for people experiencing heat-related illness. Signs of heat illness include dizziness, nausea, headaches and muscle cramps, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services.
Under the city's emergency heat plan, there are temporary cooling centers inside CapMetro buses set up for outdoor events like concerts and car crashes, where there isn't adequate shade.
Houston, San Antonioand Dallas have opened mass cooling centers, but Austin hasn't activated any of its own. There is no set temperature for the city to open these centers, in government-owned buildings like senior centers and libraries. They open if the data back up the need. Agencies like Travis County EMS or Austin Public Health can request that the city open the centers because of heat-related illnesses.
An excessive heat warning is in effect for Burnet, Bastrop, Lee, Llano, Travis and Williamson Counties until 7 tonight.
Here are some resources to help you stay on top of the weather.
Google Crisis Map
National Weather Service Radar And Emergency Website
- The National Weather Service's radar for the Central and South Texas regions is available online here.
- Forecasts, severe weather notifications, current conditions and extended forecasts are available online here.
Austin Energy Outrage Map
Check for reported outages in Austin Energy's service area and view power restoration estimates.
Customers of other electricity providers in Central Texas can find outage reports, too:
Severe Weather Twitter List
We've compiled a list of useful Twitter accounts to follow for the latest info on weather and flood conditions, road closures and other emergency information.