Houston’s relentless heat wave prompted the National Weather Service today to declare a “Heat Emergency,” a designation that air temperature and humidity is a potential health threat for all people and is particularly dangerous for high-risk groups.
The emergency designation is expected to last through Friday, said Houston health department spokeswoman Kathy Barton.
Barton said the health department has accordingly invoked its heat emergency plan, which involves working with Metro to bring people to designated cooling centers, such as libraries, and generally urging people to take extra precautions to stay inside.
It is not uncommon for the weather service to declare a heat emergency in Houston, though it didn’t happen last summer. Such an emergency is declared when the heat index, a computation of air temperature and humidity, reaches 108 degrees on two more consecutive days.
The index reached 108 Wednesday and is expected to reach that level today and Friday. Houston’s actual temperature hit 104 degrees Wednesday, the hottest it’s ever gotten in June.
It’s pretty much a given that any time there’s an extra cold winter day somewhere, the global warming deniers point to it as evidence that it’s all a hoax. Here’s a recent example of that, from someone who unfortunately was in a strong position to emasculate the just-passed climate change legislation. This kind of thinking is stupid on many levels, not the least of which is that if a bit of unseasonably cold weather means global warming is a myth, then what does a record heat wave imply? Not that logic is a strong suit for the head-in-the-sand crowd, but you’d think this sort of thing might have occurred to them. Ah, well. At least so far there’s no evidence that this means a worse hurricane season is in store. I’ll take my silver linings where I can find them.