HARLINGEN — Spring turned up the thermostat Sunday, with Valley cities breaking all-time records as temperatures rocketed into triple digits.
In Brownsville, the high was 103 degrees Sunday, smashing the record of 95 set in 1969 by eight degrees.
It wasn’t much cooler in Harlingen, where the high of 102 broke the record of 101 degrees set in 1979.
For McAllen, its 102-degree mark Sunday broke its record of 98 degrees set in 1955.
Meteorologist Brian Mejia at the National Weather Service in Brownsville said the high temps Sunday afternoon were still unofficial but it appears records were definitely shattered.
“In Brownsville I think we hit 103 briefly so the high is at least going to be 103,” Mejia said late Sunday afternoon. “Unofficially, McAllen hit 101, and although it’s preliminary, that’s their high for now. Harlingen looks like it’s currently 102.”
The good news for this truly abnormal weather day in the Rio Grande Valley is that, beginning Monday, it will be behind us and overnight lows should fall significantly.
“This won’t last all week,” Mejia said. “It actually will begin turning cooler starting (Monday). We only have highs in the low to mid-80s. It should cool down quite nicely, actually. We’ll feel those effects of that drier air that’s in place right now, with widespread 50s across the area.
“It will be in the mid- to upper 50s in the McAllen area,” Mejia added. “Out west in Starr County, probably in the low to mid-50s and in Brownsville the mid- to upper 50s.”
Curiously, the record heat Sunday was caused by a cold front.
“Once the front did come through this morning (Sunday), it acted like a dry line, so all it did was just kind of bring down compressed air and that’s why we’re really heating up,” Mejia said. “It was a cold front but, as you and I can feel it, it actually felt hotter given the drier air that’s in place.”
The cooler temperatures this week will start to give way to normal temps for spring in the Valley, with a slow warming trend beginning Thursday.
“We’ll be back in the 80s by Friday and next week we’re approaching 90 degrees in some areas,” Mejia said.
City Sunday’s high Previous
City Sunday’s high Previous record
Brownsville 103 95 (1969)
Harlingen 102 101 (1979)
McAllen 102 98 (1955)