Several parts of Texas are under excessive heat warnings as temperatures are expected to hit triple digits for the 24th day in a row. Temperatures reached 110 degrees in the Dallas area on Tuesday. The high temperatures caused heat-fueled wildfires to burn several homes near Dallas on Monday and forced several people into mandatory evacuations.
“We have a pretty significant drought all across north and central Texas. This drought caused us to go into summer much earlier than we normally see,” said Sarah Barnes of the Dallas/Fort Worth National Weather Service Forecasting Office.
Nearlyin parts of California, Arizona and the Central Plains are also facing excessive heat temperatures.
The National Weather Service finds that the oceanic and atmospheric phenomenon, La Niña, is driving warmer and drier conditions north, creating a drought and prompting more hot temperatures.
“It’s driving all sorts of weather from, you know, tropical cyclones or just more extreme heat,” said Barnes.
ERCOT, Texas’ power grid, has been asking customers to reduce their electricity use to avoid rolling blackouts. The request comes as the demand for electricity in Texas is on track to set record numbers.
The National Weather Service is urging people to stay hydrated and limit time out in the heat.