Record-breaking heat, wildfire evacuations, severe storms expected in several states


Construction worker Dineose Vargas wipes his face at a construction site on the Duncan Canal in Kenner, La., Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2019. Forecasters say most of the South, from Texas to parts of South Carolina, will be under heat advisories and warnings as temperatures will feel as high as 117 degrees. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

CHICAGO (News Nation) — A record-breaking heatwave in Texas will bring blistering temperatures to Texas while wildfires in California and Utah have prompted evacuations and strong storms in the Midwest have the potential to produce tornadoes.

Another day of extreme heat in Austin, Texas is in the forecast on Tuesday with a Heat Advisory in effect for much of the area. High temperatures will only be 1-2 degrees cooler than Monday, when the capital city reached 108 degrees at 3:04 p.m., Monday, breaking the previous record high of 105 degrees. That record was set in 2013.

Tuesday is projected to be the sixth consecutive day above 100 degrees in Austin, and the streak may continue through Friday.

Graphic courtesy KXAN

In New Orleans, afternoon highs are expected to reach the mid-90s again with heat index values of 105-110. A heat advisory is in effect for the entire area. Like Monday, showers and storms are expected to develop through the afternoon. The main threats from these will be heavy rain and lightning, but some stronger wind gusts are also possible.

Another day of scorching heat is expected in Tampa Bay, Florida with highs in the low 90s and heat index values between 100-105 Tuesday afternoon. A few showers are possible near the coast as Monday’s onshore wind pattern continues. Rain chances are expected to increase to 30 percent as the storms push farther inland. Most of the rain will end by sunset.

A few showers lasted through the night in northern New Mexico, but the majority of the state saw a dry and partly sunny morning. More showers and storms are expected to develop during the early to mid-afternoon hours, mainly in the mountains to the north and west.

Storms will push east throughout Tuesday evening, with a slight chance for an isolated shower or storm in Albuquerque, and one or two severe storms will be possible, especially in the northeast highlands. Thunderstorm threats include damaging wind and hail.

Temperatures will stay hot, but not as likely to break heat records in most spots. Temperatures will gradually taper off day by day through the weekend as the highest heat pushes east to Texas.

Firefighters in Evergreen, Colorado hope Tuesday’s cooler weather will help them make progress on the 50-acre the Elephant Butte Fire that began Monday. More than 1,000 homes have received evacuation orders, according to News Nation affiliate KDVR.

A cold front is expected to swing through Colorado Tuesday. Temperatures will cool into the 50s to start the day and the low 80s in the afternoon. It is expected to be the first 80-degree temperature since July 1.

Scattered storms will move through Tuesday afternoon, but are not expected to turn severe on the Front Range of the Southern Rocky Mountains, but could southeast of Denver on the plains where a marginal risk is in place. Storm chances continue Wednesday and Thursday afternoon. High temperatures will climb back to the 90s by Thursday and are expected to stay into the weekend.

Another wildfire in Fresno, California has burned 1,000 acres so far on Monday. The Mineral Fire is located in Coalinga and is currently at 5 percent containment and evacuations are in progress, according to Cal Fire.

High winds during a red flag warning in Washington County, Utah lead to two major wildfires that broke out Monday, according to officials. The Veyo West Fire, located approximately 20 miles northwest of St. George, started at approximately 3:00 p.m. and forced evacuations for the west side of Veyo and Brookside.

Veyo West Fire (Photo courtesy ABC4 News)

The Turkey Farm Road fire north of St. George in the Red Cliffs Desert Reserve was reported just after 9 p.m. Monday. The flames threatened a few structures and burned actively throughout the night. As of 7:00 a.m., the fire is estimated at 2,000 acres and no structure damaged has been reported.

Storms late Tuesday afternoon and evening across northern Wisconsin will bring the threat for gusty winds, large hail, and heavy rain. The tornado threat remains low. The strongest of the storms will exit the area around midnight with a few more rain showers still possible overnight.

Scattered showers are moving across northwest Iowa Tuesday, but more are expected in central Iowa after 5 p.m. A few of these storms could be severe with large hail, damaging winds, and an isolated tornado threat.

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