Aug 29, 2022 - News

The future of Texas is hot

Increase in the annual number of days with a heat index above 100°F
Data: First Street Foundation; Map: Erin Davis/Axios Visuals

Almost half of Texas is projected to have a heat index of 125°F at least one day a year by 2053, according to a study by First Street Foundation.

Why it matters: The study reveals the emergence of an "extreme heat belt" from Texas to Illinois due to anticipated warming over the next three decades, Axios' Andrew Freedman reports.

Threat level: Right now more than 8 million Americans live with extreme heat, defined as having a maximum heat index of greater than 125°F, the First Street Foundation's peer reviewed heat model shows.

  • That number is expected to balloon to 107 million people in the next 30 years.

What they're saying: The report says the western U.S. will have the highest chance for long durations of "local hot days" that exceed temperatures typically experienced for a particular area.

  • The Gulf and Southeast, including North Texas, will see the highest chances and longest duration of "dangerous days" with a heat index greater than 100°F.

Zoom in: Most of the Texas counties projected to reach a heat index of 125°F haven't experienced that type of heat yet. The "extreme heat belt" won't spare North Texas either.

  • Matagorda County and Brazoria County along the Texas Gulf Coast have experienced this type of heat before and will have even more in the future, the study shows.
  • Seems like the weather gods will spare the west side of the state, which doesn't have those 125°F days now and isn't expected to in 30 years.

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