Austin’s seen its first triple-digit day of the summer. Just before 1 p.m. yesterday, Central Texas thermometers cracked the triple-digit seal, according to the National Weather Service. While the thermostat has thankfully stayed pretty low so far this year in Austin, that’s going to change.
When it comes to triple-digit days in Austin, the best way to describe what’s happening is, “Never would’ve been better than late.”
Over the past few years, Central Texas has been blighted with scores of triple-digit days, including 2011’s record-setting heatwave – during which Austin set a record for the number of triple-digit days, with 90 at Camp Mabry and set the overall high temperature record at 112 degrees on August 28.
Comparatively, this summer’s been slightly cooler, but Austin’s not necessarily going to have fewer 100-plus degree days this year. Forecasters say it’s just they’ve all decided to show up together, and late. There’s only thing that could stop it.
“The key thing is, when is the next widespread rain event going to occur? That would put a big damper — no pun intended — on the number of hundred-degree days,” says Victor Murphy of the National Weather Service. “ And unfortunately, I don’t see that occurring over the next two weeks.”
Murphy says Austin can expect to see an average number of triple-digit days this summer. That will actually be an improvement over recent years — but, don’t worry, there’s good news as well.
There’s plenty of wet weather likely coming this fall, which could be a boon for Texas reservoirs courtesy of El Niño.
“Typically for Texas when we have an El Niño, we can expect to have a cooler, wetter winter,” Robert Mace of the Texas Water Development Board told KUT last week. “And so that bodes well for reservoirs that are still struggling in different parts of the state.”
An increase in the Pacific Jet Stream, combined with warmer ocean temperatures, could bring more rain in the (moderately) cooler latter half of the year, according to International Research Institute for Climate and Society predictions.
As for now, the triple-digit days will likely continue, at least for the week ahead. While Austinites will get a 99-degree day today, Wednesday could bring a high of 103 degrees.