Temperatures for first half of year near record high
Last updated 7/4/2023 at 2:35pm
Orange County sweltered under a heat dome during June and the National Weather Service in Lake Charles is reporting the first six months of 2023 is the third hottest first half of the year for Southeast Texas since recording started in 1901.
The hottest first six months was in 2017, the year Hurricane-Tropical Storm Harvey flooded more than 60 percent of the county with record-breaking rainfall.
And more above-normal temperatures are forecast through most of July.
The average day temperature for the Orange, Beaumont, Port Arthur area was 69.8 degrees during the first six months of the year. The average in 2017 was 70.5 degrees.
During the June heat wave, heat indices at the Orange County Airport registered near 110 or more for several days. Night temperatures stayed in the 80s with the night heat indices staying in the 90s. Last week, the night heat index dropped to 83 degrees early on the morning of June 30.
Normal highs for June in Southeast Texas range from 90 to 93 degrees, with lows of 74-77. In June, the temperatures at the Orange County Airport's National Weather Service monitor stayed in the upper 90s for several days.
Rain is in the forecast for this week, which could cool the temperatures some. It will also help prevent a "flash drought." The Lake Charles weather service explains that a flash drought is a rapid onset of drought that is associated with hot, dry, and windy conditions.
Thursday's U.S. Drought Monitor showed Southeast Texas and Southwest Louisiana in an abnormally dry condition. Without rain, a flash drought could develop.
Orange County does not have a burn ban at this time, but caution is urged for people shooting fireworks during the holiday week, especially if the location has not had rain recently.
At this time, the National Hurricane Center has no tropical activity near the U.S., but is monitoring four tropical waves in the Atlantic Basin. The Atlantic Basin is the Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean, and Gulf of Mexico. Two of the tropical waves are in the Caribbean. As temperatures stay high, the waters stay warm, which can lead to tropical cyclone formation.
As the heat continues, the National Weather Service advises to never leave children or pets in cars, check on the elderly, especially those without air conditioning, and stay hydrated. People outside need to take short breaks to try to cool off and drink plenty of liquids to prevent heat stroke.
Also, if thunderstorms develop during the week, people need to stay inside out of the way of lightning. Boats need to be cautious about forecasts and have an escape plan if lightning comes with a thunderstorm.