The scorching temperatures that have been relentlessly baking millions of Americans across Texas and portions of the South will continue through at least the middle of the week.
Temperatures across the Lone Star State have been skyrocketing into the triple-digits since last week, and the "feels-like" temperatures have been making it feel even worse as those have risen to near 120 degrees in some areas.
Those blistering temperatures have also stretched into places like Louisiana and Mississippi as officials warn residents to take proper precautions to not develop heat-related illnesses such as heatstroke and heat exhaustion.
Millions remain under Heat Alerts
More than 37 million people from Oklahoma and Texas in the southern Plains to Louisiana and Mississippi along the Gulf Coast remain under heat alerts through at least Tuesday evening.
Excessive Heat Warnings are in place for more than 25 million people from Dallas to Houston, Austin, San Antonio and Corpus Christi in Texas. Cities such as Lawton, Duncan and Durant in Oklahoma are also under the Excessive Heat Warnings.
Heat continues through midweek
The triple-digit temperatures will remain in place across portions of Texas through at least Thursday, and humidity will make conditions even worse, with the feels-like temperatures ranging from around 110 degrees to nearly 120 degrees.
Dallas will feel like it’s 115 on Tuesday, while Houston's heat index should reach 112 and Laredo's heat index will climb up to 117 by Thursday.
Shreveport, Louisiana, should be in the low to mid-90s through Thursday, with New Orleans seeing high temperatures in the upper 80s to low 90s. Jackson, Mississippi, will see similar temperatures. The forecast high on Tuesday is 91 degrees and will fall back to the upper 80s by Thursday.
But temperatures should finally abate at least a little by Thursday as Dallas, Austin and Houston will begin to see temperatures fall back into the upper 90s.
Dallas' heat index should drop to 100 by Thursday, while Houston will "cool" to 106 degrees.
Shreveport will feel like it's 106 on Tuesday and around 100 on Wednesday. By Thursday, it will feel slightly cooler at 96 degrees.
How does this compare to the hottest summer on record?
While Texas is breaking some daily heat records, the state has a long way to go to break seasonal heat records. Waco, Dallas, Houston, Austin and San Antonio all marked their hottest summer on record in 2011.
Both Waco and Austin hit at least 100 degrees for 90 days during the summer of 2011. The year was also extremely dry, and Austin suffered through the Bastrop Fires, the most destructive wildfire in state history, according to the FOX Weather Center.
Heat could potentially turn deadly
When the combination of hot temperatures and high humidity is expected to result in dangerous conditions that can cause heat-related illnesses, the National Weather Service issues various alerts to get the word out to the public.
When an Excessive Heat Warning or a Heat Advisory is issued, it's essential to take common-sense action, such as staying hydrated and avoiding extended periods outdoors.
It's also crucial you avoid leaving any people or pets in cars that become instant ovens when the air conditioning is turned off.
Serious injuries and even death can occur for people and animals inside a car on a hot day.
Always "look before you lock" to ensure you have not left any children or pets inside a car. Temperatures inside a locked vehicle with the windows rolled up can be deadly.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said if you see a child alone in a car, don’t worry about getting involved in someone else’s business – protecting children is everyone’s business. Good Samaritan laws also offer legal protection for those who offer assistance in an emergency.
"Any time you see a child alone in a vehicle, you should immediately call 911," Kids and Car Safety Director Amber Rollins said. "You don't know how long that child has been there or how long they're going to be left."
This is important, especially in the heat, when literally minutes can be the difference between life and death or severe brain damage for a young child.
Texas anticipates record power demand
Cooling centers have opened across Harris County, Texas – home to Houston – and the Electrical Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) issued a Weather Watch that went into effect last Thursday due to the forecast heat. The advisory runs through Wednesday.
"ERCOT has issued its first Weather Watch to let Texans know that we are forecasting increased demand due to the higher temperatures expected this week and into next week," ERCOT President and CEO Pablo Vegas said in a statement last week. "Grid conditions are normal when we issue a Weather Watch. ERCOT continues to monitor conditions closely and will deploy all available tools to manage the grid and will continue our reliability-first approach to operations, always prioritizing grid reliability."
And it's expected to be a very busy time for the power grid.
Because of the anticipated excessive energy consumption on Tuesday, ERCOT issued a Voluntary Conservation Notice from 4 p.m. until 8 p.m. CDT. During the voluntary notice, Texans were asked to voluntarily reduce electric use if safe to do so.
ERCOT said its 6-day Supply and Demand dashboard showed the possibility of a new, all-time peak demand record last week. ERCOT says there was enough capacity to meet the forecast power demand.
Last year, ERCOT says it set 11 new peak demand records, surpassing 80 GWs of energy for the first time. The agency says the current record of 80,148 MWs was set on July 20, 2022.