Waco has not yet reached triple-digit temperatures this year, but local residents tried to keep cool Wednesday as the National Weather Service put a heat advisory in effect through Thursday evening and doesn’t expect the heat to subside anytime soon.
“We usually go to Hawaiian Falls, but everyone is sunburnt today, so we are just trying to spend some time in the shade and stay cool,” said Becky Finch, who watched her 4-year-old grandson, Ayden Lechleter, play in the splash pad in Cameron Park on Wednesday. “It feels pretty good sitting in the shade with the breeze right off the river, and it is really pretty down here. Plus, with the spray park, we can all run through it when we get hot.”
Finch, her grandson, her son and his friend spent time with several other families in Cameron Park as temperatures rose to 97 degrees Wednesday.
Fort Worth-based National Weather Service meteorologist Daniel Huckaby said summer heat continues to build across Central Texas, but temperatures have not been breaking records.
“We have yet to hit 100 this season in Waco, but we will be very close in the next couple days to 100 degrees and really close on Thursday and Friday,” Huckaby said. “We may have a degree or two off for the weekend, but we are going to remain in this very warm, if not hot, pattern for the next several days.”
Despite the heat Wednesday, Alberto Nabarro grilled steak and ribs along the Brazos River in Cameron Park for his sister, brother-in-law, his wife and his three daughters.
“I need the fire for the ribs and the steak,” Nabarro said. “They came into the city to see us, so I wanted to make this for them.”
Nabarro’s brother-in-law, Gerardo Yanajara, said he and his family traveled from Alamo to visit. When asked about the heat, Yanajara pulled out his phone.
“It is about 108 degrees in Alamo. This is not bad,” Yanajara said. “This is my first time to Waco, and I love it here. The trees, the river, all the nature — it really is beautiful here.”
Huckaby said while temperatures may inch toward 100 degrees this week, Waco set its record for consecutive triple-digit days in 2011, when the area experienced 44 straight days of temperatures above 100 degrees.
“The entire month of July and the first half of August were all 100 degrees or more, and we had 90 days for the entire year at or above 100 degrees,” Huckaby said. “The hottest day on record for Waco was 112 degrees on Aug. 11, 1969. So it could be worse.”
The National Weather Service issued a heat advisory through 8 p.m. Thursday as high temperatures are expected to range between 95 and 101, with a heat index up to 106 degrees.