National Weather Service: Extreme heat coming to El Paso; pandemic adds challenges to staying cool


EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) The National Weather Service El Paso office and the KTSM Weather Authority are issuing a Heat Advisory to take effect starting Wednesday and is expected to stay in effect through at least Monday of next week.

The last time El Paso saw an event of this magnitude was back in 1994.

The local weather experts say El Paso can see temperatures reach up to 107 degrees, which can be dangerous for everyone and not just those considered vulnerable groups such as the elderly.

“I will remind everyone that heat is the nation’s number one killer,” Jason Laney with the NWS El Paso said.

Laney said what makes this advisory so unusual is that it is in effect for five to six days, morning through night. He said on average, heat advisories for the area last three days.

“Some folks may have the ability to find a cooling location for one day or a few hours here and there but this is going to be a challenge for our people in Southern NM and West Texas,” Laney said.

The weather expert said the pandemic adds new challenges to staying safe in summer heat.

“Obviously with the COVID-19 issued going on its not the same like in years past where we can put everyone in a nice cool confined space and keep them safe from the heat,” Laney said.

The NWS said you should look out for signs of heat stress which include:

  • lightheadedness
  • hot skin without sweating
  • fainting
  • hallucinations
  • chills
  • dizziness
  • slurred speech
  • weakness
  • nausea/vomiting
  • severe headache
  • shallow breathing
  • muscle cramps

Some ways to beat the heat include:

  • staying indoors if possible, keep air on
  • avoid direct sunlight
  • never leave children or pets alone enclosed vehicles
  • check on relatives/neighbors
  • plan outdoor time for early morning or evening
  • take frequent breaks if you need to be outside
  • stay hydrated

El Paso Electric said it is prepared for power outages as more people are expected to use their air conditioners. Eddie Gutierrez with El Paso Electric said you should try to conserve energy if possible by running your ceiling fans to circulate cool air, plan for cooking and laundry in early morning or evening hours and keep your thermostat at 78 degrees.

El Paso Electric said you should always report any power outages as soon as possible so crews can attend the area and restore power in a timely manner.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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