Possible Drought Relief
LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - After a scorching two weeks with high temperatures ranging from 10 to 20 degrees above average, each day, cooler weather is on the way. In addition to relief from the heat, some relief from the drought is possible. First, however, two more very hot afternoons.
The first of the next very hot afternoons is today.
Thursday afternoon will be sunny and breezy with highs about 15 degrees above average for the date. My forecast high for Lubbock is 102°. The current May 19 record high is 105°, set on the date in 1996.
The southwesterly wind will range from about 10 to 20 mph. Occasional gusts from about 20 to 30 mph are possible.
A HEAT ADVISORY is in effect from 1 to 8 PM CDT for Borden and Scurry Counties in the southeastern KCBD viewing area. This includes the towns of, and surrounding areas, Gail and Snyder. See below for more on what a Heat Advisory entails.
The second very hot afternoon is tomorrow. Friday afternoon highs will range from the mid-90s in the far northwestern KCBD viewing area to around 105 degrees in the far southeastern viewing area. Friday will be mostly sunny with a very breezy afternoon.
With the heat and amount of sunshine expected this and tomorrow afternoon, air quality is forecast to be in the “Moderate” range in the Lubbock area. That is considered acceptable, but a small number of unusually sensitive people may have health concerns. If this is you, try to remain indoors and reduce your physical activity.
Light amounts of smoke from the wildfires in New Mexico also will continue in the sky over the South Plains today and Friday.
Strong Late-Spring Cold Front
A seasonably strong cold front will breeze through West Texas late tomorrow. Relief from the heat will follow this weekend. Current data continues to point to highs in the 70s. Lubbock-area lows will dip into the 50s Saturday morning and into the chilly 40s Sunday morning.
Potential Drought-Denting Rain
The outlook for thunderstorms, and rain, early next week is looking up. Data this morning is encouraging. The rain won’t end the drought, but it may well put a dent in it.
Thunderstorms and showers may begin Sunday night, though more likely late Sunday night. Widely scattered thunderstorms and showers are possible Monday into Tuesday.
A HEAT ADVISORY indicates heat and humidity will push temperatures and/or heat Indices to near or greater than 105°F. This creates a greater risk of heat related illnesses such as dehydration, sunburn, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke.
From noon until sunset, avoid outdoor activity, especially strenuous activity. Do what you can to limit electricity usage. That will help ease electricity demand, which will help to ensure fans and AC will run.
Remember sunscreen, hat, water, and always check the back seat!
Never leave young children or pets in a vehicle, even for a moment, as temperatures can quickly rise to life-threatening levels.
Do not spray children, pets, or plants, with a garden hose to cool them off until you have confirmed the water is not hot.
Remember pets too need constant access to a cool place and cool fresh water.
Long-sleeved, light weight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing provides more protection from the sun and will keep you cooler than no sleeves or short sleeves and/or shorts if you are in the sun.
Your body cools itself by perspiration, give it the raw material to produce it. In this heat, if you are in the sun and not sweating, you need immediate medical attention! If someone shows signs of heat illness move them to a cool location and call 911.
If you or someone else is experiencing excessive sweating, weakness, and/or cold, pale, and clammy skin, irregular or weak pulse, fainting or vomiting - you (or another victim) may be suffering Heat Exhaustion. Get out of the sun, preferably in an air-conditioned space, lay down, loosen clothing, apply cool wet cloths. Sip water, do not gulp it down. If your condition does not improve, seek immediate medical attention.
IF you or someone else is experiencing any of the above, AND your body temperature is 106°F or higher, your skin is hot and dry, your pulse rapid and strong, or if unconsciousness occurs, CALL 911. DO NOT take or give a victim fluid. Do not wait for improvement, you or any other victim may be suffering Heat Stroke, which is a severe medical emergency. Get the victim to a hospital immediately - delay may mean the difference between life and death.
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