‘I can’t stand this heat anymore, and I feel like I’m suffocating’

The excessive heat that is recorded in the region has caused serious disturbances in the activities and health status of El Pasoans. Authorities issued a series of recommendations to be able to deal with the heat wave, produced by the inclement rays of the sun.

This Tuesday, a historical record was broken – since 1887, when the temperature in El Paso began to be recorded – by reaching 107 degrees Fahrenheit (41.7 Celsius), surpassing the highest figure – of 105 degrees, 40.6 Celsius – in 1980.

According to the National Weather Service (NWS), temperatures will remain in three digits in the coming days, so the authorities’ alert will remain in effect until next Saturday, July 23.

“Dangerous heat will continue to impact much of the central and northeastern United States,” was the message issued by the National Weather Service after emphasizing that above-average temperatures are making conditions even more likely to cause illnesses related to the heat.

The second hottest day so far this year was reported to have hit El Paso on Wednesday at 106 degrees (41.11 Celsius), a new record for July 19. The previous record was 105 in 1980. However, more heat is expected for this Thursday with a maximum of 104 (40 Celsius).

A strong upper-level ridge that has dominated the weather pattern in recent days was said to remain over the southwest and is forecast to spread east by Friday.

According to specialists, the areas with the highest risk of dangerous heat will be located in the Southwest, the Great Basin, the center and south-central United States, the Mid-Atlantic coast and the Northeast.

“Highs in these locations will approach or exceed 100 degrees, with humidity east of the Rocky Mountains making it feel potentially closer to 110 degrees (43.3 Celsius) during the late afternoon,” the NWS reported via its official website.

“I can’t stand this heat anymore, and I feel like I’m suffocating,” said Mrs. Guadalupe Rendón, a resident of the Montana Vista sector, who stated that her evaporative air is not enough to cool her house.

She, like the rest of the residents, has had to spend the afternoon with her daughter because her house resembles an “oven” as it does not retain the cold emitted by the cooling system.

“At night it is bearable because I also turn on the fans and sometimes I even get cold,” said the housewife, who along with her husband, José, faces the hot season.

He stated that the ideal would be to have a refrigeration system, but the high cost would make it out of the budget, in addition to what electricity would represent. “No way, we will have to endure and withstand the heat,” he added.

Heat remains the top weather news heading into the second half of the week, with more than 100 million citizens currently within the excessive heat warnings and advisories issued in the middle of this month.

It’s been reported that scorching heat during the day combined with warm temperatures at night can make conditions particularly dangerous for anyone who spends a lot of time outdoors or without air conditioning.

“Residents who live in excessive heat are advised to follow safety measures, especially for people who may be more vulnerable to heat-related illnesses.”

Fortunately, the showers that fell in some areas of the city quickly lowered those highs in the upper 90s as the storms hit. Temperatures are expected to drop a bit tomorrow, although a hot day is forecast with 103 degrees (39.4 centigrade) forecast, with more rain likely.

Within this heat wave, the temperature at the El Paso airport was said to have reached 108 degrees (42.2 Celsius), the highest of the year so far. The previous record was 104 degrees.

Some heat safety measures to take wherever you go include staying hydrated and taking breaks in the shade as often as possible, especially in workplaces.

Outdoors limit strenuous activities, seek shade, and stay hydrated. Indoors check the elderly, infirm, and those without air conditioning.

Another recommendation is to never leave children or pets unattended in vehicles. “Heat-related deaths are preventable. Protect yourself and others from the impacts of heat waves”, state the authorities.

jtorres@diariousa.com