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A Heat Wave Is Hitting The South, Accompanied by a Tornado in West Texas in Florida Beaches

By: Jeremy Liu

Communities are beginning to open cooling centers from Houston to New Orleans because of hot temperatures across the Southern U.S. this past weekend (June 19, 2023).

Texas Governor. Greg Abbott visited Perryton in the Texas Panhandle, where he found out that more than 1,000 people had no electricity after a tornado that killed three people late on Thursday, June 15.

“At times of events like these, Texans come together," Abbott said. The Republican governor also mentioned that he was “surprised to see how much of the town had been destroyed” and applauded what he called "non-stop heroic efforts by healthcare providers," who he said, “treated 160 injured people at the local hospital that has just 25 beds.”

The National Weather Service made heat warnings through Saturday night, saying that heat indexes ranged from near 115 degrees Fahrenheit in Houston to near 120 Fahrenheit at Brownsville and Corpus Christi in Texas.

"What's really going is the humidity," said Allison Prater, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Fort Worth, Texas, "That's making the heat index, or the 'feels like' temperature really skyrocket." "The reason we're having such heat is there is a lot of moisture being pulled up from the Gulf of Mexico," Prater said. "That's working with the warmer temperatures to induce ... that 'feels like' temperature." Ochiltree County Sheriff Terry Bouchard told KVII-TV in Amarillo that missing people had been located. "It [tornado] dropped down right on top of Perryton," Bouchard said. "We've lost a lot of homes, businesses, rental properties. There's just a lot of damage to our community and it's going to take some time to get this cleaned up."

The National Weather Service in Miami made a heat advisory through 7 p.m. Saturday for most of the South Florida area. "Hot temperatures and high humidity may cause heat illnesses to occur," the service reported. The air temperature in Florida was expected to reach about 92 degrees on Saturday, June 17. This week, however, the weather has started to cool down a bit with an average of 89 degrees throughout next week.


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