Texas Summer 2023: Second-Hottest on Record, What Lies Ahead?

Texas sweltered through the second-hottest summer on record in 2023, causing concerns about the increasing heat and its impact on daily life. Is this extreme heat becoming the new normal?


The summer of 2023 in Dallas-Fort Worth and across Texas was marked by scorching temperatures that not only shattered records but also posed significant dangers. The triple-digit heatwaves strained the state’s power grid, disrupted activities like cattle drives, and emphasized the critical importance of air conditioning. Tragically, more than 20 individuals in Dallas and Tarrant counties succumbed to heat-related illnesses.

This sizzling summer was not an isolated event but part of a broader global trend. A sweeping heatwave made it the hottest summer worldwide on record, surpassing the 20th-century average temperature by approximately 2 degrees. Climate scientists view this as a troubling indication of a progressively warmer future.

In Texas, this summer ranked as the second-hottest on record, falling just behind the scorching summer of 2011. Southern Texas experienced its hottest summer ever, while the Dallas-Fort Worth area endured the third-hottest.

Karin Gleason, the chief of the monitoring section at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Centers for Environmental Information, explained that while 2011 still holds the top spot for Texas summers, 2023 was right behind it. Summer 2011 had an average high of 100.1 degrees, while summer 2023 recorded an average high of 98.3 degrees.

Although summer temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere are typically measured from June to August, September 2023 also broke records, becoming the hottest September on record for Texas with an average maximum high of 94.6 degrees.

The question that remains is whether this escalating heat is becoming the new normal, with serious implications for the environment and daily life in Texas and beyond.


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