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Texans face temperatures that feel like 115 degrees and above during heat wave

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

We start this hour with the heat wave hitting several states in the South, especially Texas. The National Weather Service has issued an excessive heat warning, and the heat index feels like 115 degrees in places. KERA's Toluwani Osibamowo asked people in Dallas how they're coping with the sweltering temperatures.

TOLUWANI OSIBAMOWO, BYLINE: The unusually harsh heat is thanks to a weather phenomenon called a heat dome. It happens when high pressure in the Earth's atmosphere traps hot ocean air like a lid. But the threat of high temperatures isn't keeping residents like Ashley Hardy inside. She took her dog Connor out on Dallas' Katy Trail this morning.

ASHLEY HARDY: I'm up this early mainly because I have the dog, so I'm trying to get him out before it gets too hot and then myself as well.

OSIBAMOWO: Hardy's lived in Dallas her whole life, but she says she has yet to experience a June this warm.

HARDY: To me, it feels like it gets hotter every summer.

OSIBAMOWO: Parts of the trail are shaded by trees, and water fountains are available for those on the path. But the city of Dallas has also set up cooling stations for residents looking to quickly get out of the heat. For Hardy and other pet owners, the main goal is the same - stay hydrated.

HARDY: We drink a lot of water before we came out. We're going to do the same thing before we come back, we're probably going to be on here for less than 30 minutes total and then be back in the AC.

OSIBAMOWO: Cameron Haskell, who was jogging on the trail, says the heat is mostly a mind thing for him, but he has to think about his dog, Nala, too.

CAMERON HASKELL: I made the mistake yesterday. I ran her out yesterday afternoon. I thought she was going to die - like, really. Yeah, she fell out. So that's why I try to come in the morning.

OSIBAMOWO: The morning is also best for Dan Ayala, who was taking a stroll on the trail.

DAN AYALA: I work inside for most of the day, so I just love being able to get out before it gets too hot at midday.

OSIBAMOWO: And for people who do stay inside, power officials say not to blast the AC too much because the heat wave is testing the state's power grid. Chels Holmes was working out on Katy Trail, as she does most days. Her advice in this heat is simple.

CHELS HOLMES: Stay cool out there. It's real hot (laughter).

OSIBAMOWO: For NPR News, I'm Toluwani Osibamowo in Dallas. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Toluwani Osibamowo