Yes, it really is that hot in Texas

Following yesterday’s article about this weekend’s Hotter ‘n Hell Hundred cycle race, a couple of readers asked whether it was really that hot all through summer in northern Texas.  I told them that while there were mild periods, generally we expected our temperatures to hover between 95°F and 105°F all summer long.  This year, June/July was exceptionally hot, with the mercury hitting 114°F one day – a real scorcher.

We’re not alone in that.  Southern Texas gets just as hot, and sometimes more so.

ROMA, Texas — This week marks the end of the dog days of summer, the 40 hottest days of the year known along the south Texas border as the “canicula.”

Canicula is Latin for “dog star,” a reference to the Canis Major constellation that appears above the sun during the hottest days of the year.

Even before it started, the term was on residents’ minds, in part because of the host of superstitions that surround it: Children should be kept inside during canicula season. It’s not good to make big decisions, like getting an operation, during the canicula. If the canicula starts with rain, the summer will be mild. If it starts out hot and dry, as it did this year, beware.

Temperatures rose to the triple digits last month in every city across the Rio Grande Valley. The canicula was on the lips of waitresses, Rosary Society ladies and even priests, some of whom mentioned it last week during their homilies. Father Pablo Wilhelm reminded those about to leave the air-conditioned comfort of Our Lady of Refuge Roman Catholic Church that salvation — at least, the earthly variety — was only weeks away.

Customs agents who spent the summer baking on the border, processing immigrant families from Central America, can tell you when the canicula ends. So can Border Patrol agents charged with chasing migrants through miles of overgrown ranch land. And so can the immigrants themselves. Heat here does more than wither cotton crops and fray nerves — it kills.

There’s more at the link.  I recommend that you read it with a glass of something icy cold within reach!



  1. I made a traffic stop yesterday (in Brazos County) that resulted in searching the car for drugs.

    At about 3:30 in the afternoon. 100 degrees. In the sun. In my cop suit, with vest.

    I was pretty much done for the rest of the shift.

  2. Husband: "My brother (in Burbank) wants to come visit us in Austin because he's tired of the heat there."
    Me: "Don't you think we should warn him?"
    Husband: "He's already bought the tickets."

  3. What's the humidity like out that way? In Phoenix we only had 14 days in July this year that were 110 or higher, and there were comments of "Hey, at least this summer wasn't that hot".

    1. Well, today in DFW, it's supposed to hit 98, but there's 55% humidity, so it will feel more like 112. At least it's not Houston where humidity can go into the 90s…

  4. When I talk hot I remember a day years ago in Las Vegas wearing my black Sunday pants. I had a book of matches in my right pocket and felt this sudden blast of heat on my leg. I looked down to see smoke coming out of my pocket! I live in Montana now.

  5. In the other hand, I love in Southwest Missouri where August temperatures average in the mid-nineties, and today's high was seventy-four. Strange times we're living in.

  6. I'll take your dry heat. I'm in Mississippi right now. It'll be 89 degrees, but with the humidity it feels like 105-110 most days.

    You sweat. And then you sweat some more.

    You want to know why Southern boys are so bad-ass? Because with the heat index mowing the lawn can put you in the hospital.

  7. I like WeatherUnderground, there's a load of pro-level sensor points maintained by individuals, but sometimes you get…anomalous information. Okay, the old fogey near me (HI!) records a temp of 101, heat index 108. Some cat about half a mile away lists it as 100, That's okay, standard deviation, but a heat index of 182.6? Degrees? Fahrenheit? I figure his yard sprinklers just kicked in (Humidity: 99%), which means the water in the lines is warm enough to make a nice cuupa, but this is probably going to be used to load the averagefor the purposes of Global HotColdWetDry.
    I do enjoy a nice cuppa cha, but in August, in Houston, it's what we call asstea. Mine is unsweetened, with lemon, thank you. In one of the pint glasses from the freezer, with a block of that self-same bevvie frozen in the bottom.

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