High temperatures, humidity create dangerous heat through weekend

Michael D. Smith
The Daily Ardmoreite
Ardmore is expected to reach 90 degrees Thursday, June 10, 2021, with a heat index around 99 degrees. Even more extreme heat is forecast for areas further west, where temperatures and heat indices will reach triple digits.

Potentially dangerous heat will continue to dominate southern Oklahoma weather through the weekend. While the worst heat has stayed well west of Ardmore this week, heat indices locally will climb to near triple digits on Thursday. 

High heat and humidity will post the biggest danger as severe weather remains unlikely for the next several days. 

“I’m not really anticipating much in the way of storms currently. I think more of it’s going to be the heat and high humidity are going to combine to get head indexes rather uncomfortable,” said Bruce Thoren, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Norman, on Wednesday. 

While temperatures in Ardmore will remain in the low 90s into early next week, dew points in the 70s will make it feel like nearly 100 degrees. Temperatures and dew points to the west will produce even more dangerous heat this week. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 700 people die each year due to extreme heat. Even though temperatures in the low 90s may not seem dangerous, high humidity keeps sweat from evaporating quickly and keeps your body from releasing heat as fast as it may need to. 

Drier air further to the west has created a dryline over the Oklahoma and Texas panhandles that could produce thunderstorms throughout the week and into the weekend, but Thoren said that it would likely not provide any immediate relief to the humidity in south-central Oklahoma. 

Ardmore averages high temperatures in the upper 80s for this time of year.  

While a cold front is moving through the Rockies this week, Thoren said it is still too soon to tell what impact it will have on southern Oklahoma weather next week. 

People are advised to limit outdoor activities during the heat of the day and stay in air-conditioned homes or public facilities. Drink more water than usual and don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink more. Muscle cramping may be an early sign of heat-related illness.