115 degrees in Oklahoma. Let that soak in.
According to the Oklahoma Farm Report, for only the second time in the history of the Oklahoma Mesonet 115 degrees has been recorded. The first time was in August of 2012 (during that “fun” drought stretch that ran from 2011 to 2015).
Granted, this was not the hottest day ever in Mangum Oklahoma (it hit 117 on July 3rd, 1980), but the difference this year is that these high temperatures are hanging on. Every single day this month has seen above normal temperatures, and we’ve already tallied ten 100-degree days in Oklahoma City.
Here is a graph from the meteorologists at Channel 25 in Oklahoma City:
As you can see, at the time of writing this, 5 out of the last 6 days have seen triple digit temperatures. Oklahoma City actually hit a new high for July with 110 degrees on the 19th. And Oklahoma City wasn’t alone. Lawton tied their daily record high at 114 degrees (set back in 1936 during the Dust Bowl) and Chickasha also set a new record, warming to 110 degrees, surpassing the high previously set in 1980.
None of this would be that unusual…except its July. Typically, August is the hottest time of year in Oklahoma (the highest temperature EVER set in Oklahoma City was 113 degrees in August of 2012). Seeing this kind of hot, dry weather BEFORE you hit what’s normally the hottest, driest month gives you reason for pause. And Oklahoma’s not alone…
According to the Kansas Mesonet the Sunflower State had its own run of triple digit temperatures on the same day Oklahoma was hitting new highs with weather stations across the state breaking 100 degrees. Ashland led the way with temperatures over 111 degrees followed by Harper at 109.3, and Viloa and Meade at 109.2.
Texas is having fun too…Dallas has already had 23 days with temps over 100 degrees. The yearly average is 20. Again, that would not be that big of a deal IF IT WASN’T JUST JULY.
And we aren’t done. It’s anticipated that these temperatures could extend for nearly 10 to 12 consecutive days in a row, being one of the most intense heat waves we’ve seen in the region.
I won’t even talk about the lack of rain….
It goes without saying that we all should be taking precautions to deal with this weather. Kansas State University, Oklahoma State University, and Texas A&M all have tips online about what producers should do to avoid heat stress in livestock. We as individuals should also recognize the dangers associated with this hot weather and take our own precautions as well.
Hopefully this heat wave will break soon. Grandad always said that “it always rains before it’s too late. Sometimes that means RIGHT before it’s too late.” Here’s hoping the hot, dry weather doesn’t take things all the way up to the edge.