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Scorched Earth: Here’s what you need to know

According to El Paso Matters, July 22 marked the end of the 38 consecutive days of heat over 100 degrees. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia Commons

It is not often that going outside gives us a glimpse into the final moments of a Thanksgiving turkey, but the city of El Paso has experienced over 40 consecutive days of triple digit heat. Shattering not only the record for most consecutive days of heat, but this July marked the hottest month on average, with a staggering 92 degrees, beating the previous record of 89 back in 1994. This is the first time the temperature average has reached over 90 degrees, with eight out of the top ten hottest months being in the late 2010s. 

Thankfully, The Prospector has collected a handful of tips for staying cool and avoiding the scorching ground. 

First, if you are walking, or staying out in the sun for a long time, make sure to wear summer clothes, whether it is shorts, short-sleeved shirts/blouses, and avoiding heating fabrics such as cotton or leather. Sunscreen on exposed skin and for pool/beach trips, bring an umbrella for shade or unexpected bursts of rain. You may also try covering your car seat and steering wheel in a linen cloth, or any non-heat absorbing cloth to prevent your body and hands from being burned as you climb back into your car. Even put the air conditioner on max with your windows down to vent your car from the heat and let the AC cool down.  

Secondly, the city provides public places with water fountains and facilities with AC cooling. These include public libraries, bus stops, stations, and parks (often with shade or buildings for staying inside) among other facilities to either find entertainment away from the sun or cool down before heading back out.  

Finally, pace your day and take breaks in between. We often don’t realize, but exposure to the sun often takes a toll on our mental strain, chipping away at our patience and putting us in increasing discomfort. If you have been in your car or outside for too long, make sure to give yourself time to cool off in a cold facility. Try to avoid heated arguments, or difficult tasks to protect yourself from more strain.  

This historic new bench has not only alarmed city officials but has sparked enthusiasm for energy saving strategies. According to the El Paso Times, El Paso Electric officials have suggested presenting more venues for solar power, insulation, among other methods, as a way to preserve energy.  

Public relations specialist, Jacob Reyes from El Paso Electric said, “By implementing these measures, residents can reduce their energy consumption and promote cost-effective solutions.” 

Summer is a heavy season for power bills and other commodities, and with the punishing heat, there is more incentive to stay inside. The heat might prove the perfect opportunity to adopt a green energy solution to the rising bills.  

Still, recent weather reports have cooler news, as temperatures are set to decrease starting August 1. The El Paso heat has never been forgiving (our Suncity nickname accounts for it) but it has been draining for the population, witnessing this historic record. Taking a toll on our power bills, infrastructure and our moods. Time will tell whether it was a once in a lifetime event, or a more concerning omen. 

Eugenio Cantu is a contributor and may be reached at [email protected] 

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About the Contributor
Eugenio Cantu
Eugenio Cantu, Guest Contributor
Eugenio Cantu is currently majoring in digital media production with a minor on film. He is a video game and movie aficionado, he loves writing and aspires to be a novelist.
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