Aug 2, 2023 - Climate

Hot, dry summer making history in North Texas

Illustration of a weather thermometer on fire with a scorched top where the mercury has exploded.

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The hot, dry summer in North Texas is setting heat and low precipitation records, according to the National Weather Service.

Driving the news: Dallas-Fort Worth recorded only 1.25 inches of rain total in June and July, setting a record for the sixth driest span for the two-month period.

  • The two months were also the 10th warmest in the area's recorded weather history, with an average temperature of 86.7°, per the National Weather Service.

The big picture: This July was the Earth's hottest month, and even typically hot regions like Texas are setting heat records.

Why it matters: More than 69 million people in Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana and other neighboring states were under an excessive heat warning, heat advisory or a red flag warning as of Tuesday as a heat wave persists.

  • North Texas weather officials are warning of a wildfire threat in the western part of the region because of continuing dry and hot conditions.

Zoom in: Most of North Texas remains in a drought or is abnormally dry, and the Fort Worth and Denton areas are in a severe drought.

  • Drought conditions were improving across Texas during the spring but are worsening now.

By the numbers: Through July, there were 23 days over 100°, ranking the year eighth of all time for most 100-degree days by the end of July.

  • The most occurred in 1980, with 44.
  • The driest summer occurred in 1934, when there was less than a tenth of an inch of rain in June and July. Before this year, the most recent driest June and July was in 1978, per the NWS.

What's next: North Texas may see a break in the heat Monday. Until then, the daily high will remain above 103°.

  • An excessive heat warning remains in effect until 8pm Wednesday, and a red flag warning for wildfires is in effect until early Thursday.

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