Currently in Los Angeles — November 11th, 2022

The weather, currently.

A sunny, clear weekend with chilly evenings

It’s Veteran’s Day, so I hope you have the day off. My brother served in the Air Force and used its benefits to go to college for free. Here I am, saddled with debt, and writing silly little weather reports for y’all, while he just bought a house and a designer dog. No, I’m not bitter!

This weekend looks really nice, though evenings across the board are going to be really chilly. I’m a little bit weird and usually have a down comforter on my bed, even in summer, but it’s now time for me to add extra blankets so I don’t wake up with a runny nose. You’ll see low temperatures in the mid- and low-40’s, and if you live a bit north of LA or in the High Desert, you might even get some frost. At least we’ll have a lot of sunshine, clear skies, and more clean air during the daytime this weekend. I see very steady highs around 65°F Friday through Sunday, so let the weekend unfold in a leisurely manner. Can’t make the Farmer’s Market on Saturday? That’s fine, the Sunday market two neighborhoods over will be just as pleasant to stroll through.

What you need to know, currently.

Extreme heat has caused hundreds of deaths in Texas prisons, new research shows.

The study, which was published in the JAMA Network Open journal last week, showed a noticeable correlation between  lack of air conditioning, and the risk of inmate death, in U.S. prisons. The research also revealed that in Texas, where just one in every three prisons in the state is fully air-conditioned, 271 people have died over the past two decades because of the state’s failure to properly cool their prisons.

These deaths occurred on particularly hot days, where the heat index rose above the location’s 90th percentile. According to the study, the risk of death rose to nearly 15 percent on these days. Each one degree increase in temperature over 85 degrees F (29 degrees C) increased risk of death by 0.7 percent.

And, extreme heat and exhaustion have more health impacts than just death. The risk of heat related illness increases when people are exposed to temperatures that frequently go beyond 100 degrees F (38 degrees C), often reporting dizziness, nausea, heat rashes and muscle cramps.

Temperatures inside Texas prisons have reached as high as 149 degrees F (65 degrees C) in recent years. Historically, the state has seen temperatures anywhere from around 50 degrees F to 90 degrees F (10 to 32 degrees C). However, climate change will lead to hotter, more oppressive temperatures — and more frequent hot days. In fact, more than a third of Texas counties will be subject to more than 50 days with heat above 105 degrees F (41 degrees C), according to data from the nonprofit Union of Concerned Scientists.

Regardless of these dangerous conditions, Texas lawmakers have failed to advance bills that would fund increased air conditioning in prisons, claiming that there haven’t been any heat-related deaths. This is, of course, a lie.

Texas does require that some inmates — like those in county jails where folks often await trial — have air-conditioning. The Texas Commission on Jail Standards requires that all county jails keep the temperatures between 65 and 85 degrees F (18-29 degrees C).

If similar temperature regulations were enacted in state prisons, it could save lives.

—Aarohi Sheth

What you can do, currently.