Sweating the days off

Sky-rocketing temperatures affect Dallas

Art+by+Yanet+Bisrat

Art by Yanet Bisrat

Amitha Nair, Staff Writer

Broken records, triple digit temperatures for days on end, and cancelled plans due to the heat are only some of the effects the 2022 summer heat brought to Dallas residents. “Bipolar,” “erratic” and “scorching” are a few words students used to describe this summer. 

Texas has always been known for its extreme weather, especially the heat. According to the National Weather Service, the summer broke weather records by having the hottest July on record with an average temperature of 88.5 F. On July 8, temperatures hit 106 degrees Fahrenheit, which matched the highest record in 2020. 

Finally, on July 19, the highest temperature of the summer hit: 109 degrees. This matched the highest temperature for the past 10 years and was only four degrees below the highest temperature in Texas ever, dating back to a heat wave in 1980. At the end of July, this summer was already approaching a spot in the top 10 for years with the most 100-degree days, with more than 36 days in total,not only for Texas but for the United States as a whole.

The scorching temperatures, in addition to the humidity, forced some students to cancel or move their plans. 

“[I] had to reschedule plans with friends so that we would be somewhere with air conditioning,” sophomore Gretchen Jones said.

Freshman Tanvi Joshi said she could barely stand to be outside for more than five minutes during the heatwave.

“So any plans of going outside, walking my dog, hanging out with friends, and pool parties were sometimes demolished by the heat,” Joshi said. “Even in the evening sometimes it would be 100 degrees. It was awful.”

Students’ sports practices in the extreme heat tested their limits.

“During the summer, I usually play tennis for three-plus hours each day,” sophomore Ranya Li said. “However, this summer, I would sometimes skip training or train super early in the mornings, 6 a.m., to avoid getting heat exhaustion or heat stroke.”

Some sports allow players to be flexible with their hours, while others force players to endure the harsh conditions. 

“Field hockey practice required loads of sunscreen and water, and by the end of it we were all exhausted,” freshman Leyah Philip said.

Freshman Caroline Ballotta kept passing out due to the heat, causing her to miss some sports competitions 

After a whole week of constant downpour, the heat started to set in. The humidity in Dallas started  its initial rise to slowly creep up on unsuspecting summer lovers. 

“I wanted to go out wearing makeup and looking decent but the second I stepped outside the sun melted my face off,” sophomore Madison White said.

Skin and hot temperatures don’t mix: sometimes, you have to give up on one to embrace the other; otherwise, a disaster starts to unfold.

Freshman Pilar Hoitsma can’t wear the clothes she enjoys because of sweat and the heat.

This abnormal heat incited many grass fires in the area and caused many deaths, directly and indirectly. DeSoto had more than 250 acres burned down by a grass fire; luckily, no one was injured. In Balch Springs, a $6 million grass fire burned over 26 homes, nine of which were utterly destroyed, causing relocation or homelessness, according to the Dallas Morning News.

Homeless centers tried to tackle the rise in individuals during the heatwave. 

“With extreme weather we usually see more people wanting to come into the shelter; through the first part of July when it was really hot, we saw an increase from 84% to 97% occupancy,” Teresa Thomas, Austin Street Center director, said.

Austin Street center recently moved into a new facility, allowing for a bigger, air-conditioned space with more appliances for longer hours.

“Previously, only clients of Austin Street could come onto our property and receive services. Sometimes we would place a water cooler outside the front door to offer water to those homeless on the street in the surrounding area,” Thomas said. “With our new facility, any person, client or not, may come into the lobby where we have a sink, restroom, and water fountain.”

Our calling had a group put together, called the “Search and Rescue team” 

“They go out everyday driving around Dallas finding our homeless friends and providing them with ice-cold water, snacks, neck-cooling racks and really focusing on trying to get our homeless friends off the street because obviously, the best way to stay cool is to be in a home and we want to recreate that.” Ali Hendrickson, Manager of OurCalling, said.