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State climatologist contributes heat to Tropical Storm Debby

Published: Thursday, June 28, 2012

Updated: Wednesday, July 25, 2012 21:07


Last summer, Texas saw one the worst heat waves and droughts in history, weeks without a single drop of rain and a record-breaking streak of days with temperatures in triple digits. Most Texans hoped this summer would be different, and at first they could have been right, but now that hope seems faint.

It’s been a few weeks since College Station has seen rain and since that time the temperature made its move into the triple digits and has stayed there since. And though late May and early June looked promising of a normal summer with afternoon showers to keep temperatures normal, for Texas, at least, late June and early July look much worse.

Beginning Wednesday, it looks to be consistently hot, with temperatures in the hundreds then slowly falling to 91 by Sunday only to rise back to 98 next Wednesday. On top of that, there seems to be no relief from rain, the highest chance is 30 percent over the weekend and slipping back to zero next week.

John Nielsen-Gammon, Texas State Climatologist and professor of meteorology, said the hot weather is primarily due to wind patterns from Tropical Storm Debby.


“With Debby in the northeast of the Gulf of Mexico, the winds rotating counterclockwise around the storm cause our air to approach from the northeast,” Nielsen-Gammon said. “So the air has been baking over drought-stricken lands for several days by the time it reaches us, during the time when we receive maximum sunlight.”


But hope remains. Nielsen-Gammon said with tropical airflow reestablishing itself soon, there could be chances of thunderstorm activity on the horizon and temperatures should moderate.

The excessive heat has adversely affected some. Summer is a time for most people, especially college students, to relax after a hard year or use the extra time to make money or get ahead in school.


Joey Park, a computer science major, works half a day outside for transportation services.


“It gets a little hot through the day but I drink some water, and it’s alright,” said Park.

Not all students have such a cool demeanor toward this extreme heat.


Lorena Enriquez, senior supply chain major, said, “I walked outside the other day and the heat just slapped me in the face. I used to exercise outside in the early afternoons but now it’s too hot to even want to go outside.”


Nielsen-Gammon gave some tips to avoid serious risks in the heat.


“If you’re going to be active outdoors, work your way into it rather than imagining your body can handle the same amount it could last August,” he said. “And of course, plenty of sunscreen and water are essential.”

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