Record Heat Scorches Texas

ByABC News
September 5, 2000, 9:17 PM

F O R T  W O R T H, Texas, Sept. 5 -- Much of Texas continued roastingtoday in record-breaking, triple-digit temperatures that sentutility companies scrambling to keep up with demand.

Austin was sweltering in 112-degree heat, breaking the citysall-time high of 107. That record had been broken Monday when thetemperature hit 110.

Thermometers also soared past the 100-degree mark today andbroke daily records in Del Rio, San Antonio, Houston and Lubbock.

Some utility companies urged customers to cut back during peakhours as a precaution.

The equipment is stressed. Its like driving a car with thepedal to the floor for two months, said Carol Peters, spokeswomanfor TXU Electric Co., the largest electric and gas company in thestate with 2.6 million customers. But were not close to havingany brownouts or blackouts.

No Hiding From The HeatSeveral cities shattered all-time high records Monday: 112degrees in College Station, 109 in San Antonio and Houston and 104in Galveston.

Other areas Monday reported record highs for September: 111degrees in the Dallas-Fort Worth area and 107 in Del Rio.

The hottest temperature ever in Texas was 120 degrees, recordedin Seymour in August 1936 and Monahans in June 1994.

Things may be bad, but at least were not close to breakingthat record, said Lonnie King, a National Weather Servicemeteorologist in Fort Worth.

Relief in SightAs of today, temperatures have exceeded 100 degrees for 57days in Del Rio, 45 days in College Station, 44 days in Dallas-FortWorth, 37 days in Austin, 20 days in San Antonio, 20 days inHouston and 12 days in Lubbock this year.

The culprit is an upper-level high pressure system stalled overmuch of the state for more than two months, blocking any fronts ormoisture from the Gulf of Mexico, meteorologists said.

But the system is starting to weaken and move to the northwest,which should drop temperatures into the 90s and bring a chance forrain in central and eastern Texas this weekend, forecasters said.