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Texas Power Demand Reaches Record Peak Amidst Heat Wave
August 2, 2022
By WeatherBug Sr. Meteorologist, Chad Merrill
Not only has summer been off the charts hot in Texas, so has energy demand in The Lone Star State.
Dallas had its fifth hottest June on record with an average temperature of 86.1 degrees. It hit 103 degrees on June 24, making it the fourth warmest high temperature ever recorded in the year’s sixth month.
Texas had its fifth warmest June on record, but the heat didn’t start when the turn of the calendar. The Lone Star State had its warmest April through June on record.
The Dallas-Forth Worth area busted through the record books in July. The National Weather Service in Forth Worth/Dallas reported the city had its second warmest July on record with an average monthly temperature of 91.8 degrees. The average high temperature of 102.4 degrees ranks as the third warmest July by average high temperature. It was the warmest July for minimum temperatures, besting the former record of 81 degrees in 201 by 0.1 degrees. The highest temperature in July was 109 degrees, which ranked as the second hottest high temperature recorded in the year's seventh month.
This seemingly endless heatwave is also putting record strain on the power grid. ERCOT, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, had a demand of more than 74.9 gigawatts on June 12, besting the previous record of 74, 800 megawatts set in August of 2019. The second big spike of the summer occurred on July 5 when 77.5 gigawatts was reached. Only one week later, another record high was reached with 78.4 gigawatts of electric use occurred. Not to be outdone, demand hit 78.9 gigawatts on July 18. Just to give you an idea, the record power usage just one decade ago was 68.3 gigawatts. The record has jumped a whopping 10.6 gigawatts in the last ten years. Several news releases from ERCOT have asked residents to reduce energy consumption during these very hot days, specifically between 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. when demand tends to peak.
The ongoing drought is adding to heat misery. Ninety-four percent of Texas is in a drought, up from only 5-percent one year ago in mid-July. Texas had its fifteenth driest June on record. July tied as the second driest seventh month on record in the Dallas-Fort Worth area with only a trace of rainfall. Dallas also established its second longest dry streak on record with 59 days without measureable rainfall from June 4 to August 1.
The prolific heat ridge baking the southern Plains and keeping fronts from having a chance to push as far south as the Texas Red River Valley will continue unabated through the remainder of August. Above-average temperatures are expected with more triple-digit heat busting through the record books. Additionally, rainfall is expected to be below-average once again this month.
Check on the latest temperature forecast and threat for rainfall by downloading the WeatherBug phone application. Find out the nearest lightning strike to your location and read the latest drought news in the Weather News section of the phone application.
Story Image: A map showing high temperatures in Texas on July 19, 2022.