The Oklahoma Heat Wave of 2011 - KATV - Breaking News, Weather and Razorback Sports

The Oklahoma Heat Wave of 2011

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     Man it's hot. Of course you don't need me to tell you. All you have to do is step outside. Actually some people without adequate air conditioning are also being affected inside. Some people are getting sick (and tired) of this heat. Are you one of those?

     Most daytime highs have been above 100 since late June. The most 100 degree days in a summer for us occurred in 1980 when we hit 100 degrees 54 times. I think we're going to break that record this year! I see several more days of triple digit heat and we still have August yet to go.

     We average 12 100-degree days per year. Last year we hit 100 14 times. We've already gone past that. In fact last year we didn't hit 100 until July 17th. This year we hit 100 about a month earlier. We set a record high on July 7th with 104 degrees, but the highest temperature so far this year was 107 on July 10th. That's a far cry from -12 that we recorded on Feb. 10th. Which would you rather have? 107 degrees or -12 degrees?

     So why is this summer so hot? We've been in a stuck weather pattern. A middle to upper level high pressure system has been parked over the area shunting all of the cooler weather and rain far to the north. The extra heat is evaporating moisture at the surface drying out the land which in turn creates a drought. The drought in turn helps create hot weather since drier air heats up more than moist air. So you see, it's a cycle. A broken water cycle if you will. The heat creates drought, and drought creates heat.

     So how are you staying cool in this heat wave? When I'm not staying inside air conditioning, I'm looking for a cool pool to stay near and drink lots of water. Don't forget heat illnesses can sneak up on you. By the time you feel them, you already have them. So drink water BEFORE you go into the heat and of course while you are in the heat. The water will give you moisture to sweat. Without it you can get sick. I've been there after some long softball days in the heat.  It's no fun. In fact, it can be deadly.

     We haven't even talked about the humidity which has caused the heat index to be as high as 110. This can also lead to heat related illnesses. The humid air makes it hard for your sweat to evaporate which helps cool your body. So water up!

     We really need rain. Farmers and ranchers are hurting not to mention most of our lawns and plants. We're running about 9" below normal for the year. You might recall that I predicted a hot and dry summer, and unfortunately that's become true. There is no rain in sight. Until this high pressure pattern changes, we can expect many more hot and dry days.

     Don't forget, temperatures are taken and forecasted in the shade. In other words, it's about 10 degrees hotter in the sun. So when we have a high of 100, it actually is 110 or more in the sun. So try to stay out of the sun and in the shade.

     This heat wave has to end eventually. We just have to hang on and stay cool until then. We'll make it through I promise. And before you know it the cooler weather will be back!

     Thanks for reading. I invite you to send me your comments, opinions and thoughts to my Facebook page under Frank Mitchell. In the meantime, stay safe and stay cool.