By Justin Cox
Killeen Daily Herald
For those who haven't noticed, the National Weather Service is reminding everyone again – it's hot outside.
On Thursday, the NWS issued a heat advisory for most counties in Central Texas in response to consistent high temperatures over 100 degrees.
A heat advisory means that afternoon heat index values are expected to meet or exceed 105 degrees while overnight low temperatures will not fall below the upper 70s.
The advisory will remain in effect until 7 p.m. Saturday.
Joe Harris, a meteorologist stationed at the NWS office in Fort Worth, said Thursday that a few of these advisories are issued every year when the conditions dictate.
"Basically, we have an upper-level high pressure system up high; it drives up the temperature and keeps the nighttime temperature up," Harris said. "It's just kind of sitting over the area. We're right near the gulf, which keeps the humidity up, and the winds are fairly mild at the moment."
He expects the heat to last a few more days before it gets driven out by a new system from the north.
"The upper high is going to start drifting westward, and a little cool front is going to drift down into North Texas," he said. "It's pretty common that we'll issue at least a few during the summer. When the upper-level ridge builds back over Texas, we'll have heat."
He urges precaution for those who will be engaged in outdoor activities.
Killeen Fire Chief Jerry Gardner said Thursday afternoon that he has not heard any reports related to the heat, but it's certainly something his crews are prepared to address.
"We do start seeing a lot of heat-related situations this time of year ... from construction workers, folks who are outside," Gardner said. "It's been so hot, a lot of times it's cumulative. When your body core temperature goes down, if you don't watch yourself, it could get pretty dangerous."
The NWS offers these tips for residents to remember when in the heat:
Take frequent breaks
Wear light-colored, loose-fitting clothing
Check on those with health problems as well as the elderly and people who spend much of their time outdoors.
Never leave children or pets inside a vehicle. Temperatures could reach deadly levels within a few minutes, even if windows are cracked.
Contact Justin Cox at firstname.lastname@example.org or (254) 501-7568.