No doubt about it - summer is here and it’s hot.
Although Stephenville hasn’t seen triple digits yet, the area did top out at 99 degrees on Tuesday and Wednesday according to temperatures recorded at the Stephenville/Clark Municipal Airport.
The National Weather Service (NWS) issued a heat advisory for many eastern counties forecasting a heat index of 105 after the Metroplex recorded their first 100-degree day Wednesday.
Erath County Judge Tab Thompson said officials are monitoring the situation, and although the county is not under a burn ban, he cautioned residents to be mindful of weather conditions when planning upcoming holiday celebrations.
“As of right now, we have not been discussing a burn ban,” Thompson said. “However, conditions are serious. The most effective way to handle the situation is for citizens to exercise sound judgement when it comes to fire.”
Erath County Fire Rescue Coordinator Chris Gable agreed and urges residents to be cautious and use common sense if celebrations include fireworks.
“It’s best to shoot them off in an area with no vegetation or vegetation that is extremely short,” Gable said.
He also recommended people have water on hand or access to a water hose.
“Most of that stuff can be stopped pretty quick if you dump water on it,” Gable said.
The hot, dry weather is not expected to end anytime soon.
Texas AgriLife Extension Service personnel have reported that large areas of the state continue to suffer drought-like conditions.
Despite rainfall in May and June, an AgriLife reports state that the long stretch of hot and windy days quickly dried out top soils and pastures, stressing rangeland and corn.
NWS forecasters have predicted no chances of rain in the next several days and expect area temperatures to hit 100 soon. They also list most of Erath County as “abnormally dry,” with the extreme western tip in a moderate drought.
According to the NWS, the normal high temperature for this time of year is 93, with a record high of 106 in 1980. That’s the same year the Texas record books recorded the most 100-degree days, with 69 days of temperatures at or above 100.
Normally, Texas experiences an average of sixteen 100-degree days with the first day falling on July 1.