Some States Too Hot For Humans

August 4th, 2011 by Mariah

Dallas (CNN) — A spell of suffocating heat continued to grip much of the South Thursday, as several cities in Texas closed in on records for the most consecutive days of 100-degree heat.

 

In all, the National Weather Service issued heat advisories for parts of

15 states stretching from a sliver of Southern California to North Carolina.

 

Dallas marked its 34th straight day of temperatures above 100 degrees. That city has been getting a lot of attention for its hellish heat, but some smaller Texas cities have had it worse. Thursday is Waco’s 35th straight day topping 100 degrees, and Tyler’s 38th straight day.

 

The records for both Dallas and Waco is 42 straight days, set in 1980.

In some places, the heat is having deadly consequences.

 

A Kansas City, Missouri endurance race known as the “Warrior Dash,” had one of its participants die Saturday after collapsing on the course, CNN affiliate KMBC reported.

The family of Jeremiah Morris said the 28-year-old’s core temperature had increased to 111 degrees. His blood thinned and damage was caused to his organs, they told KMBC.

 

“He ran so hard and so determinately that he took it to the ultimate end,” said Morris’ mother. “He ran straight on into glory. But that’s not what he wanted. He had a whole full life. And now we’re having his memorial service on his 29th birthday.”

 

Organizers of the race canceled its last leg after Morris and 12 others were rushed to the hospital from the course due to the heat.

 

Not only are temperatures high in Texas, but the state climatologist said Thursday that Texas in the midst of the most severe one-year drought on record. Records started being kept in 1895.

 

July was also the hottest month ever on record in Texas and the third driest July, climatologist John Nielsen-Gammon said.

 

“Never before has so little rain been recorded prior to and during the primary growing season for crops, plants and warm-season grasses,” he said.

 

“The outlook is not entirely grim,” he added. “Late August and September bring increased chances of widespread rain from tropical disturbances, as well as the occasional cold front. Some computer models predict a return to La Nina conditions this winter, which would imply continued dry weather, but most predict neutral conditions in the tropical Pacific and the possible return of normal weather patterns.”

 

Citing record-breaking electricity demand, the Public Utilities Company of Oklahoma urged users to decrease the amount of electricity they are consuming. It recommended setting thermostats to 80 degrees and postponing use of dishwashers, washers and driers.

 

Texas set another record for electricity demand on Wednesday — a third straight day for that distinction.

 

“We are expecting another record-high electricity demand (Thursday), so we are continuing our call for conservation,” said Kent Saathoff with the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, which manages the state’s power grid.

 

Temperatures reached a record high in Little Rock, Arkansas, Wednesday, soaring to a scalding 114 degrees. It’s the hottest day on record for the city, according to CNN affiliate KLRT-TV.

 

Officials restricted high school football practices to three hours after four student athletes were hospitalized with dehydration, KLRT said.

DonTeria Searcy, a 16-year-old high school student, died Tuesday after he passed out after a morning practice at a Florida football camp, the local sheriff’s department said.

 

Another 16-year-old student, Forrest Jones, died Tuesday in a hospital after he passed out during a football practice at an Atlanta-area high school, school administrators said.

 

And on Monday in Texas, Wade McLain, 55, an assistant football coach, collapsed during a morning practice and heat was ruled as a factor in his death, the local medical examiner’s office said.

 

In the St. Louis suburb of Pine Lawn, Missouri, a 19-year-old woman was charged with one count of parental neglect as she, her two children and her boyfriend either passed out or fell asleep on a basketball court in the midday sun.

 

A passerby called 911 after spotting the four.

“The caller apparently told our officers there were four dead people in the heat on the basketball court,” Pine Lawn Police Chief Rickey Collins told CNN affiliate KTVI-TV.

 

“This is definitely a careless situation from a parent,” he said. “We’re not going to go lightly on it.”