With a weak front forecast to pass through North Texas tomorrow giving much needed relief a reflection is due. So how does this heat wave rank?
Yes it's been very hot across a broad section of the US with records set. An all time record for any day of 117˚F at Pierre, SD stands out. Yes it was extremely hot farther north than you'd expect. But anyone who experienced the heat wave of 1980 knows this episode doesn't compare at all.
Here in DFW we had 69 days above 100˚F between June 23rd and September 6th with 42 in a row at one point. The worst was June 26th and 27th when it hit 113˚ on both days. An all-time record. Sticking your arm out the car window had the same effect as sticking it in your oven. We broke or tied records 29 times.
It was hot all over the southern plains where Wichita Falls hit 119°F, Memphis hit 108°F with 15 days straight above 100°F, Kansas City stayed above 100°F for 17 days straight.
The worst statistic of all was the death toll. This heat wave took the lives of between 1250 and 10,000 people nationwide. Even on the low end of this scale this was the true disaster.
So bring on the relief tomorrow and get us out of the triple digits. Let's hope we've seen the last of them for 2006. I'm not betting on it. And when you start moaning about how hot it feels and start debating about whether it's because of "Global Warming" think back and remember.