According to the calendar, summer doesn’t officially begin for two more weeks. According to the weather lately, mother nature didn’t get that memo.
It’s been hot the last week in May and the first few days of June — about 10 degrees hotter than normal for June. The highs last week in the area were in the low to middle 90s with humidity sending the heat index into the upper 90s and lows 100s. We got something of a break over the weekend when the highs were in the upper 80s. However, the hotter than normal weather comes back today (Wednesday) with highs in the mid to low 90s for the rest of the week.
It’s going to stay that way for the next two weeks, according to the latest forecast from the National Weather Service.
The hot weather can be dealt with but you should be mindful of suggestions for doing so. Here are some suggestions from the Centers for Disease Control:
Extreme heat is defined as summertime temperatures that are much hotter and/or humid than average.
Heat-related illnesses, like heat exhaustion or heat stroke, happen when the body is not able to properly cool itself. While the body normally cools itself by sweating, during extreme heat, this might not be enough. In these cases, a person’s body temperature rises faster than it can cool itself down. This can cause damage to the brain and other vital organs.
Older adults, the very young, and people with mental illness and chronic diseases are at highest risk. However, even young and healthy people can be affected if they participate in strenuous physical activities during hot weather.
Summertime activity, whether on the playing field or the construction site, must be balanced with actions that help the body cool itself to prevent heat-related illness
Wear appropriate clothing. Choose lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing.
Stay cool indoors. Stay in an air-conditioned place as much as possible. If your home does not have air conditioning, go to the shopping mall or public library — even a few hours spent in air conditioning can help your body stay cooler when you go back into the heat. Call your local health department to see if there are any heat-relief shelters in your area.
Electric fans may provide comfort, but when the temperature is in the high 90s, they will not prevent heat-related illness. Taking a cool shower or bath or moving to an air-conditioned place is a much better way to cool off. Use your stove and oven less to maintain a cooler temperature in your home.
Try to limit your outdoor activity to when it’s coolest, like morning and evening hours. Rest often in shady areas so that your body has a chance to recover.
Cut down on exercise during the heat. If you’re not accustomed to working or exercising in a hot environment, start slowly and pick up the pace gradually. If exertion in the heat makes your heart pound and leaves you gasping for breath, stop all activity. Get into a cool area or into the shade, and rest, especially if you become lightheaded, confused, weak, or faint.
Do not leave children or pets in cars. Cars can quickly heat up to dangerous temperatures, even with a window cracked open. While anyone left in a parked car is at risk, children are especially at risk of getting a heat stroke or dying.
Drink more fluids, regardless of how active you are. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink.
Provide plenty of fresh water for your pets, and leave the water in a shady area.
Monitor those at high risk. Although anyone at any time can suffer from heat-related illness, some people are at greater risk than others: Infants and young children; people 65 years of age or older; people who are overweight; people who overexert during work or exercise; people who are physically ill, especially with heart disease or high blood pressure, or who take certain medications, such as for depression, insomnia, or poor circulation
Visit adults at risk at least twice a day and closely watch them for signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Infants and young children, of course, need much more frequent watching.