SAN ANGELO – The average high temperature in San Angelo for the month of July is 103.5 degrees and National Weather Service experts in San Angelo Saturday morning said, "...there is no relief in sight" in the daily forecast discussion.
A stubborn ridge of high pressure over the area creates conditions where afternoon high temperatures will again soar above 100 degrees and relative humidities will fall to between 15 and 25 percent. Those values are just below the criteria needed for the NWS to issue a Heat Advisory but still dangerous enough to warn residents to follow safety procedures anyway.
So far in 2022 there have been 62 days where the mercury has reached or exceeded 100 degrees and the forecast calls for triple digit temps for at least the next ten days. The record for 100 degree days was 100 set in the extreme drought year of 2011.
2022 is shaping up to be that kind of drought year.
San Angelo has seen only 3.37 inches of rain in 2022; that's 8.08 inches below normal for this day of the year. Springs, creeks, rivers, ponds and tanks have dried up and ranchers are selling their herds because there is not enough water or forage for them in pastures. Surface water supplies are being strained as lakes and reservoirs drop dramatically because of evaporation and use.
Now is the time to conserve water.
The fire weather forecast calls for elevated conditions each day for at least the next 30 days or until the area receives significant rainfall. And the threat is not just from wildfires across rangeland and in rural areas. In San Angelo this week there have been a number of pole fires or fires started when again electrical transformers fail and spark causing fires.
According to the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) Saturday morning, the state's electric grid is working normally and there is ample power generation to keep up with demand. The grid is holding.
The Drought Monitor below shows all of West Texas experiencing significant drought. As of Friday, 225 of Texas' 254 counties had Burn Bans in place.
2022 is shaping to be one of the top two or three drought years on record.
Residents are advised to follow all the normal precautions is extreme heat; drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated, try to move strenuous outdoor activities to the early morning or late evening hours, wear sunscreen and light weight, loose fitting clothing, take frequent breaks in the shade or stay in an air conditioned building if possible.
Check on vulnerable friends and neighbors and never, ever leave a child or a pet in a hot car. That could be a death sentence for them.
This is an ongoing serious weather situation.