EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – El Paso has seen record-breaking temperatures this summer.
In June and July 2023, there was a streak of 44 days straight of triple-digit temperatures with a total of 30 days reaching triple digits just in July.
This was the hottest July on record ever in El Paso.
El Paso reached the hottest temperature so far this year in August when it reached 112.
A study done in 2020 by the City of El Paso and the University of Texas at El Paso shows the hottest areas in El Paso.
“Saw intense heat across our entire community. We have one of the lowest tree equity scores in the state of Texas and frankly, the nation, meaning that we don’t have a lot of tree canopy in our community,” Nicole Alderete-Ferrini, the climate and sustainability officer with the City of El Paso said about the urban island heat mapping study.
The majority of the heat map is in yellow and red meaning hot. However, areas closer to natural landscapes are cooler.
“Areas are not hotter in some of those areas. Large swaths of the far east side, particularly the upper east side, as you starting to get into the lower valley you see a little bit more of that natural landscape,” Alderete-Ferrini said.
Alderete-Ferrini does say the city has $50,000 that was donated to plant trees in neighborhoods and the next tree planting will be in October. Information can be found on their website.
El Paso being an urban island in the desert is typically in drought.
So far in 2023, El Paso has only had one and a half inches of rain, according to Meteorologist Monica Cartez, and El Paso is supposed to average four to five inches.
El Paso Water passed a drought resolution to prepare for drought conditions but explain that the water company’s definition of a drought is not about the amount of rainfall but rather the amount of water in Elephant Butte.
“It appears that we are on the verge of yet another drought. And when we talk about the drought for El Paso water, it means limited availability of river water,” Scott Reinert the El Paso Water resources manager said. “When we have limited river water, that means we have to pump more and more of our groundwater resources. The drought resolution is key to helping us get drought relief projects on an expedited basis,”
However, he says El Pasoans don’t need to worry about water supply.
“We are not anticipating any shortages next season for our customers. It just means we take care of our business and when river water’s here, we’re going to use it; And when it’s not, we’ll make up for it with more groundwater pumping,’ Reinert said.
Adding that while they have seen increases in water demand this summer, the spikes have not been drastic.