112! but relief on the way?
The mercury at the U. S. Weather Service thermometer at KRXT-FM climbed to 112 on Sunday afternoon, the secondhighest temperature ever recorded in the 86-plus years the Weather Service has staffed a Rockdale observing station.
Only hotter day was Sept. 4, 2000, when the temperature climbed to 113.
Sunday’s 112 ties Sept. 5, 2000, for the second highest recorded temperature of all-time in Rockdale.
(Water boils at 212 degrees at sea level. One hundred and twelve degrees is 53 percent of the way to boiling.)
MODER ATING?—Ironically, this week may actually be the point in the super-heated summer of 2011 when things started to moderate.
Rockdale’s high did not reach 100 on Thursday, climbing only to 93 in a cloudy, rain-cooled morning and afternoon which saw hit-and-miss precipitation around several areas of town.
( None fell in the KRXT rain gauge, which is Rockdale’s official total).
And, for whatever it’s worth, weather forecasters are predicting highs only in the mid-to-low 90s for this weekend with corresponding increases in rainfall chances.
RECORDS—It can’t come too soon for parched, parbroiled Rockdale and Central Texas.
Every heat record on the books, except for the one- degree difference between 2000’s 113 and Sunday’s 112, has fallen this spring and summer.
Tuesday marked the 77th day of 2011 in which Rockdale has recorded a high of at least 100.
Thirty-two of those highs were 105 or greater. Both of those figures are records, breaking marks originally set in 2009.
Highs of 100 or greater were recorded every day from July 17 through Aug. 13.
That 27-day stretch shattered the old record of 22 consecutive 100-degree readings, July 18 through Aug. 8, 1944.
POWER WARNINGS—With records being set all over the state, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) is asking cooperation from home and business owners to lighten the critical load on the state’s power grid.
ERCOT says the peak energy consumption hours are between 3 and 7 p.m. and asks customers to set thermostats to 78 or higher, 85 when users are away from home.
ERCOT also notes that turning off unnecessary lights and delaying use of washers, dryers and dishwashers from peak hours to off-peak hours could help the stressed power grid.