Record high temperatures continue to sear the Southwest through the Mississippi Valley, driving weekend energy demand as people turn to air conditioners to cool down, with the heat forecast to spread to Chicago and the Great Lakes early this week.
Across the Western U.S., 27 record daily highs were set or tied on Saturday, with many of them in Texas, said Bob Oravec, a senior branch forecaster for the U.S. Weather Prediction Center. The heat will continue across much of that area Sunday as it spreads east and north up the Mississippi Valley toward the Great Lakes Monday and Tuesday.
“It’s going to be pretty hot across the South,” Oravec said. “It’s a pretty standard heat wave pattern, a big area of high pressure stretching from the central Plains to the Southwest.”
The high temperatures has sent demand for electricity soaring across the Southwest and Texas. Houston opened cooling centers for residents who weren’t able to beat the heat at home. Heat advisories and excessive heat warnings stretch from California to Tennessee.
The temperature in Las Vegas reached 109 degrees Fahrenheit for a second day on Saturday, tying a record for the date set in 1940 and again in 1956, the National Weather Service said.
Readings were forecast to hit 106 degrees Fahrenheit on Sunday. Denver tied a record Saturday with a high of 100. Dallas hit 103 degrees Saturday, tying a record for the day set in 1911, while Houston reached 97 degrees at Hobby Airport setting a record for the date.
Houston, the fourth most populous U.S. city, is forecast to hit 100 degrees on Sunday. Dallas is forecast to hit 103 Sunday, while Fort Worth rises to 104. The heat plus humidity will make it feel closer to 107, the National Weather Service said.
The Electric Reliability Council of Texas, which manages power across the state, predicted record demand for later Sunday, according to its website.©2022 Bloomberg L.P. Visit bloomberg.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.