Houston Will Feel Like 106F as Millions Remain Without Power

By Millie Munshi and | July 9, 2024

Houston is set for a dangerous bout of heat as more than 2 million homes and businesses remain without power in the area around the nation’s fourth-largest city after Hurricane Beryl’s battering.

The region is under a heat advisory, with heat index values — a measure of how hot it feels when humidity is factored in — forecast as high as 106F (41C), the US National Weather Service said, warning of the possibility of illness under the extreme conditions. Actual temperatures will exceed 90F.

While those temperatures aren’t unusual for Houston at this time of year, scorching weather and humidity combined with the lack of power will make for brutal conditions, as people won’t be able to turn on air conditioners for a break from the heat. The sweltering conditions and significant power outages are both expected to last for days.

“It can be pretty uncomfortable, especially without power,” said Bob Oravec, lead forecaster at the US Weather Prediction Center. Real temperatures will likely be in the mid 90s for the next few days, which is typical for this time of year. “It’s average hot, but that’s still pretty hot.”

As of Tuesday morning, about 2.3 million homes and businesses were still without power in eastern Texas, concentrated in the Houston area, according to PowerOutage.us. More than 75% of those without power are customers of CenterPoint Energy Inc., the Houston area’s main electric utility.

Read More: Texas’ Extreme Weather Pileups Point to World’s Climate Future

Beryl left the Houston metro area — home to roughly 7 million — a morass of flooded streets, downed trees, darkened traffic lights and power lines lying on the ground. At least three deaths were blamed on the storm. Beryl, a Category 1 hurricane when it struck Texas early Monday, already had killed 11 people in a week-long rampage across the Caribbean.

Based on current progress with damage assessment and initial restoration, CenterPoint expects to have power restored to 1 million impacted customers by the end of day on July 10, the company said in a statement late Monday.

The storm, now a tropical depression, is sweeping across the South, with heavy rainfall expected in the Mississippi Valley. Tornadoes are possible across Missouri, Tennessee, Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana and Ohio. Almost 35,000 homes and businesses are without power Tuesday in Louisiana and Arkansas.

Scorching weather is also set to bake western states this week, raising fire risks from Canada to Mexico. A million people are under an excessive heat warning in the US West, according to Bryan Jackson, a meteorologist at the Weather Prediction Center.

Las Vegas on Sunday hit an all-time high temperature of 120F (49C). Palm Springs and Redding in California have also set records. The high in Sacramento may reach 110F on Thursday, while Furnace Creek — the gateway to Death Valley — is poised to hit 128F.

Was this article valuable?

Here are more articles you may enjoy.