Saturday's going to a scorcher.
Saturday's going to a scorcher.
National Weather Service

Scorching Summer Looms as Dallas Closes Book on Second Hottest May In History

A woman scorned? Hah. Texas laughs at scorned women because when it comes to hellish fury, no woman alive can hold a candle to a dry Texas summer.

Speaking of candles, Texans might not need to keep them handy this season; the state's electricity supply should be able to handle the load despite what's shaping up to be a miserably hot summer. So ... yay.

After a relatively mild 2017, Dallas is well on its way to its typical unforgiving hellscape of a summer in 2018. Sometime over the next couple of days — likely Friday or Saturday afternoon — according to National Weather Service in Fort Worth, D/FW Airport's thermometers will hit 100 degrees for the first time this year, doing so a full month earlier than average (July 1) and three weeks earlier than in 2017 (June 23).

NWS meteorologist Bianca Villanueva told the Observer on Thursday that last month is the second-hottest May the NWS has ever recorded here, just trailing May 1996. That year, the average May temperature in Dallas was 79.7 degrees. This year, the average was 78.8 degrees.

A hot May means that the ground has more time to heat up, which could lead to a very hot summer, Villanueva says. If Dallas is to be spared from a truly horrendous July and August, the city will need the weather gods — here's looking at you, Pete Delkus — to smile on the city during June.

"We still have the month of June to get some rain. That could help the ground cool off a bit, but right now it's looking like a pretty dry start to the month, so we may see some warmer temperatures through the summer," Villanueva says.

In 2011, the record-breaking Dallas summer that saw the city hit 100-degree temperatures a record 71 times, DFW didn't reach 100 until June 13.

Throughout the current heat wave — which Villanueva expects to break Sunday, when temperatures should dip to a balmy 92 degrees — Dallas' Office of Emergency Management plans to distribute water provided by the Salvation Army at Martin Luther King Community Center and Reverchon Park's recreation center. The Salvation Army also has opened 13 cooling centers throughout North Texas.

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas, the agency that oversees Texas' electrical grid, said in its final seasonal readiness report for summer that it expects record demand for electricity throughout the state as temperatures heat up in 2018. Despite the increased demand, however, the agency believes it will be able to cover demand without rolling blackouts, thanks to the power reserves available to the state.

"ERCOT and the market participants we work with are focused on system performance this summer," ERCOT President and CEO Bill Magness said in a statement. "A growing economy and retirements of generating units will tighten reserves available on peak summer days."

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