Prolonged heat continues in much of the South

Story highlights

  • Some Southern cities have had streaks of triple digit temperatures
  • The heat is expected to continue this week in many areas

(CNN)The South is in a heat streak. From Texas to Georgia, a number of areas have had streaks of triple digit temperatures in July and August. With little to no rain in more than a month, many Southern cities are desperate for relief.

Data from the National Weather Service shows some unusual temperature patterns in the region.
Northeast Texas and northwest Louisiana are in a drought. Dallas is one example.
    Although springs floods helped keep temperatures down during early summer, by mid-July there was a reversal in the city. Dry, hot weather settled in and hasn't let up. Dallas hasn't seen any rain since July 8 and is tied for the seventh longest streak without any precipitation in its history.
    The past 29 days have been above 95 degrees. At Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, 10 out of the past 15 days have been in the triple digits. Dallas normally averages 18 days per year at or above 100 degrees. The city's Love Field airport has had 17 this year.
    Farther to the south, Waco, Texas, has faced similar conditions.
    It hasn't had any rain since June 30th and is also tied for the seventh longest streak without any rain in its history. The city has had 10 days at or above 100 degrees so far this year, with 29 straight days above 95 degrees.
    The heat has put a strain on the Texas power grid.
    The Electric Reliability Council of Texas reported last week that temperatures pushed the Texas power grid to a record high. The extreme heat has also been blamed for water main breaks.
    In Louisiana and Mississippi, things aren't any better.
    Shreveport, Louisiana, hasn't had any measurable rain since July 5, and the hot, dry conditions are taking a toll. A rise in heat-related illnesses has resulted in athletic teams rescheduling practice to cooler times during the day.
    Shreveport normally averages six days a year at 100 degrees or higher. This year, it's already had 14 days, with 29 consecutive days at or above 95 degrees. Heat indices have climbed to 113 degrees at times, with excessive heat warnings in place on many days.
    In Jackson, Mississippi, the past eight out of 16 days have been above 100 degrees, with less than a quarter inch of rain since July 5.
    Not much relief is expected during the next seven days, as temperatures stay well into the 90s and triple digits across much of the South.