The National Weather Service issued warnings regarding a hazardous heat wave that poses the risk of record-breaking temperatures across several regions of the US South on Friday. Residents from Texas to Florida are advised to limit outdoor activities during the extended Juneteenth weekend. Excessive heat warnings have been declared, impacting millions of individuals in southern Louisiana and Texas, where the heat index is projected to reach 110 degrees. Heat advisories are also in effect for South Florida and Mississippi on Friday.
The advisory emphasizes the increased susceptibility to heat-related illnesses during high humidity, except during the early morning and evening hours. It further highlights the importance of not leaving children or pets unattended in vehicles. In response to the challenging conditions, cooling centers have been established in New Orleans to assist local residents, as reported by WWL-TV.
The National Weather Service’s New Orleans branch conveyed the unequivocal message that, excluding any precipitation or storms, the weather will be exceptionally hot via a tweet.
While Southern states are no strangers to high temperatures, experts assert that extreme weather patterns, such as this heat wave, have become more frequent and intensified across the country due to climate change.
Authorities strongly advise individuals to stay hydrated, seek air-conditioned environments, and minimize sun exposure. In southern Texas, where Juneteenth originated as a celebration of African Americans’ emancipation from slavery in 1865, temperatures are expected to soar into the triple digits during the holiday weekend. The National Weather Service notes that this range represents a 15-25 degree deviation from the norm for this time of year.
According to local media reports, Houston experienced temperatures close to 100 degrees Fahrenheit (32 Celsius) on Thursday, with a heat index peaking at 110 degrees.