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Dallas Records Second Most 100-Plus Degree Days

By Bill Zeeble, KERA News

http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/kera/local-kera-983180.mp3

Dallas, TX – Dallas is closer to a new heat record, now that it has registered the second-most hundred-degree days in a year, with 57. KERA's Bill Zeeble has more.

The Dallas record of hundred-plus degree days in a year is 69 days, set in 1980. National Weather Service Meteorologist Victor Murphy isn't sure about breaking that record.

Murphy: It's not out of the realm of possibility. Looks like we should stay at or above 100 degrees, quite honestly, through the end of this month. Which I think puts us at 65 days. The key thing is what happens the first week of September. The days get shorter.

The overnight lows drop off, says Murphy, and weather patterns could change. But he's more amazed by this summer's overnight lows.

Murphy: In 115 years of weather records, the all-time high minimum temperature for Dallas/Fort Worth has been 85 degrees. We have tied or exceeded that nine times this summer. So just think about that. Something has only happened once before in a 115 years and we have met or exceeded that nine separate times this summer. That's really the most astounding statistic of all.

Murphy says urban fields of concrete and steel contribute to the Dallas overnight temperature record. But he says such records have now been established in many, smaller towns this summer. So he says climate change could be the reason.

Murphy: The increase of green house gases prevents you from having long-wave radiation at night and sort of inhibits the earth cooling off at night. And this could be sort of the canary in the coal mine for that.

As for Hurricane Irene offering possible relief to Dallas, Murphy says don't count on it. The same large high pressure dome that has helped scorch North Texas will deflect Irene. An eastern low pressure system will suck the storm up the Northeast coast Florida.

Email Bill Zeeble