For those who live in Houston, Texas, the climate is anything but boring. In fact, Houston appears to have nearly every weather element imaginable: flooding, thunderstorms, tornadoes, cyclones, hurricanes, and, on rare occasions, even snow. While not all these weather elements appear every year, one thing that can often be counted on in Houston is heat, and lots of it.
Most Extreme Temperatures in Houston’s History
According to the Houston Chronicle, the city’s warmest day ever in the month of June occurred quite recently: June 29, 2013. The temperature was recorded as 107 degrees at Bush Intercontinental Airport. This broke the previous record for hottest day ever in the month of June, which was recorded at 105 degrees.
Per the National Weather Service, June 29, 2013 was certainly not the only time Houston saw extraordinarily high temps. Some of the other highest records include: 109 degrees on August 27, 2011(this ties the September 4, 2000, record for highest temperature in the city’s history); 104 degrees on June 24, 2009 and June 26, 2009; earliest 100-degree day on June 2, 2011 (this broke the previous record set on June 10, 1902); and earliest 98-degree day on May 26th, 2011 (this broke the previous record of May 27, 1928).
When it comes to weather trends, some data suggests Houston is getting hotter, other data suggests it’s always been scorching. Attesting to the former, the top four highest average temperatures recorded in Houston (for the months of June through August) have happened in recent times: 2011, 2009, 1998, and 2010. The fifth highest average temperature occurred in 1962.
The all-time hottest months in Houston’s history are a bit more varied. While the top slots belong to August 2011 and August 2010, July 1980, August 1962, August 1951, August 1902, and July 1892 also make the list. This suggests that Houston has always had the capacity to produce extreme heat. Yet in recent years, extreme heat might be a bit more extreme than usual.
The Dangers of Extreme Heat
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), between 1979 and 2003 over 8,000 people died in the United States from extreme heat. During this time frame, more people died from extreme heat than from lightning, hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, and earthquakes combined. In 2001 alone, 300 deaths were caused by excessive heat exposure.
Normally, the body deals with heat by attempting to cool itself through sweat. However, in extreme heat, the body may fail to compensate correctly, essentially not being able to sweat fast enough. As a result, a person’s body temperature can drastically increase, leaving them at risk for brain damage, organ failure, and even death.
In general, those more likely to be affected by extreme heat include the elderly, infants and children, and people with certain chronic medical conditions. People in humid climates are also more prone to heat illness because humidity prevents sweat from evaporating, thus preventing the body from releasing heat.
How to Beat Extreme Heat
The CDC reports that air conditioning is the best way to protect against illness and death caused by extreme heat. For those who don’t have air conditioning at home, going somewhere that does— such as a library, shopping center, or market—can mean the difference between harm and health.
Other things people can do to help beat extreme heat is pay attention to the local weather and safety updates; check on neighbors and friends, particularly if they are elderly; drink cold beverages that are nonalcoholic; and increase fluid intake, even with inactivity.
This article was written by Sheldon Armstrong, a regular contributor here at INFOtainment News. He writes this on behalf of AC Man of Houston, your number one choice for all your AC needs in Houston. Check out their website today and see how they can help you!