2023 Is On Track To Be Hottest Summer in Deep East Texas History
Leaving 2011 In The Dust
The latest data from the National Weather Service is showing that the summer of 2023 is smashing the miserable records set the during Deep East Texas summer of 2011. I'm talking specifically about data from the Angelina County Airport south of Lufkin, Texas, and we are well on our way to having our hottest summer since records were kept in 1906.
In 2011, the Average Summer Temperature (AST) was 87.1 in Lufkin. That made 2011 the hottest summer in history, shattering the old record of 86 set in 1934. The AST is an average of the low and high temperatures for each day of summer. So far in 2023, the AST in Lufkin is 87.8.
Our first day of fall is still about 6 weeks away (September 23), and given the sweltering extended forecast for the remainder of August, it looks like a certainty that 2023 will be Lufkin's hottest in at least 117 years. Only something crazy like a major cooldown in September could keep us from setting that unwanted record.
Another Broken Record
It also appears that Lufkin will break the record for consecutive days of triple-digit temperatures. In 2011, from July 30 through August 24, the Angelina Airport recorded 26 straight days of temperature readings of at least 100 degrees.
Today, August 11, will mark the 19th day in a row of 100+ temps in Lufkin (2nd longest all time). If we have triple-digit temperatures every day through Saturday, August 19, that will be a new all-time record. The latest forecast through that period shows us easily reaching 100 degrees every day.
Didn't Even Know They Kept This Record
In 2011, Lufkin set the record for the most days of 105 degrees or better (14). In 1934, we had a total of nine 105+ days. As of August 11, 2023, the mercury has hit at least 105 degrees on 8 occasions.
Lufkin's all-time high temperature is 110. So far this summer, we've maxed out at 106. I don't see anything in the forecast that shows us getting close to 110, but you never know.
The 2011 Record We Probably Won't Break
Twelve ago, the temperature reached 100 degrees or better on a total of 63 days, the last 100-degree day for 2011 happened on September 29. So far, Lufkin has hit the century mark 27 times.
Hitting 100 degrees another 36 times this year is a tall task, but it's not out of the question
Why Has It Been Hotter Than a Jalapeno's Armpit?
Two factors really - number one is that we've had a high pressure ridge sitting on top of us for practically the whole summer, and we've been bone dry since July.
I reached out to Michael Berry, Senior Meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Shreveport, and he broke it down this way,
"...the high-pressure ridge has been suppressing the atmosphere. This heats the atmosphere up closer to the surface, not to mention you limit the amount of cloud growth, thus reducing rain chances. In addition, 4-inch deep soil temperatures are running close to 90 degrees across Deep East Texas and that hot air at the soil level radiates upward which adds to the daily heating."
Those hot soils also don't allow for much cooling overnight which just adds to the vicious and miserable cycle of temps easily surpassing 100 degrees.
It doesn't look too promising. There is a slight chance of rain on Tuesday, August 15, but even with the possibility of rain, the high temperatures are still expected to exceed 102 degrees for quite some time.
Pray, my friend...pray to God for some relief.
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