Record-breaking heat has taken over Central Texas this summer, and weather experts predict this will continue through at least September. As a result, officials are offering to help residents beat the heat.
In a nutshell
The National Weather Service issued the first heat advisory of the year for Central Texas on June 13, and the area has been under a heat advisory most days since then. According to the NWS, the region reached a record heat index value of 118 degrees Fahrenheit on June 21, and experts suggest the future will be filled with an increasing number of heat waves. John Moore, meteorologist for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, confirmed Central Texas has a 50%-60% probability of experiencing warmer-than-average temperatures well into September.
The hotter-than-normal temperatures for Central Texas were also confirmed by Christa Stedman, Austin-Travis County Emergency Medical Services public information officer and captain.
“We actually broke our all-time record for heat-related calls in the month of June as of June 29,” Stedman said, explaining ATCEMS responded to 174 calls before the end of the month. “To put that number into context, in June 2022—which was the hottest on record—we ran 159 total. In June of 2021, we ran 125.”Officials with the United Way for Greater Austin have seen similar results, said Ashley Pierce, United Way chief marketing officer, pointing out the organization responded to nearly 100 heat-related calls to 2-1-1 as of the end of June.
“Most of the needs are people seeking resources regarding cooling centers, air conditioners and fans,” Pierce said.Virginia Larson, team lead for Family Eldercare—an organization that gives free fans to those in need—said nearly 4,000 fans have already been distributed this year as of the last week of June. To put that into perspective, the organization distributed 7,200 fans in total in 2022.
Larson said she is worried, however, as the organization is running out of fans to give away, and she encouraged those who can help to visit www.summerfandrive.org.
“We want everyone to exercise caution,” Stedman said. “Heat exhaustion can progress rapidly into heat stroke, which is truly a time-sensitive medical emergency. If someone is suffering symptoms of heat stroke, move them, cool them and call 911.”