Astronomical Summer begins today at 12:45am, but summer style temperatures have persisted for about 10 days so far. Unfortunately for me this also means our severe weather chances are basically gone as well. A strong high pressure ridge has dug in across the lower continental United States (CONUS) but low level moisture will continue to flow from the Gulf. This will create partly cloudy skies, high humidity, and very high heat indexes.
Weather conditions will continue to persist through the next 7 days, with temps possibly reaching 100 this Tuesday and beyond. With the high dew points, this will continue to cause heat indexes near 105-110 degrees. Officially, the National Weather Service issues heat advisories when the heat index is forecast to meet or exceed 105F for 3 hours or more. This is because the human body can no longer effectively sweat away heat once the heat index reaches that temperature. Heat stroke risk increases substantially once the outdoor heat index reaches this point.
Last year in July, DFW airport recorded all 31 days exceeding 90 degrees with 16 of those days exceeding 100 degrees! July last year only gave 2.12 inches of rain with just 4 of the 31 days producing thunderstorms. Generally speaking, the average humidity this time of year will reach about 50% however, this compares to Tampa which averages about 75%.
If you desire more info regarding climate summaries, you can check out a previous blog post I made detailing Tampa FL vs Dallas TX.
Also some helpful information regarding heat stress on your body, perceived temperatures due to humidity and how to prevent heat stroke:
Heat Safety Tips
Strenuous activities should be reduced, eliminated, or rescheduled to the coolest time of the day. Individuals at risk should stay in the coolest available place, not necessarily indoors.
Dress for summer.
Lightweight light-colored clothing reflects heat and sunlight, and helps your body maintain normal temperatures.
Put less fuel on your inner fires.
Eat small meals and eat more often. Avoid high-protein foods, which increase metabolic heat, and also increase water loss.
Do not drink alcoholic beverages.
Drink plenty of water or other non-alcoholic fluids.
Your body needs water to keep cool. Drink plenty of fluids even if you don not feel thirsty. Persons who (1) have epilepsy or heart, kidney, or liver disease, (2) are on fluid restrictive diets or (3) have a problem with fluid retention should consult a physician before increasing their consumption of fluids.
Do not take salt tablets unless specified by a physician.
Spend more time in air-conditioned places.
Air conditioning in homes and other buildings markedly reduces danger from the heat. If you cannot afford an air conditioner, spending some time each day (during hot weather) in an air conditioned environment affords some protection.
Do not get too much sun.
Sunburn makes the job of heat dissipation that much more difficult.
Be a good neighbor.
Check in on elderly residents in your neighborhood and those who do not have air conditioning.
Do not forget your pets.
Make sure they have access to water, ventilation and shade.
NEVER LEAVE CHILDREN OR PETS IN A PARKED CAR!
The temperature can rise to 135 degrees in less than ten minutes, which can cause death to children or pets. If you see a child or pet left unattended in a parked car, you should call 9-1-1 and alert authorities.
What are the signs of heat related disorders?
Redness and pain. In severe cases swelling of skin, blisters, fever, headaches. *First Aid: Ointments for mild cases if blisters appear and do not break. If breaking occurs, apply dry sterile dressing. Serious, extensive cases should be seen by physician.
Painful spasms usually in muscles of legs and abdomen possible. Heavy sweating. *First Aid: Firm pressure on cramping muscles, or gentle massage to relieve spasm. Give sips of water. If nausea occurs, discontinue use.
Heavy sweating, weakness, skin cold, pale and clammy. Pulse thready, or in other words weak. Normal temperature possible. Fainting and vomiting. *First Aid: Get victim out of sun. Lie down and loosen clothing. Apply cool, wet cloths. Fan or move victim to air conditioned room. Give sips of water. If nausea occurs, discontinue use. If vomiting continues, seek immediate medical attention.
HEAT STROKE (or sunstroke):
High body temperature (106 degrees F. or higher). Hot dry skin. Rapid and strong pulse. Possible unconsciousness. *First Aid: HEAT STROKE IS A SEVERE MEDICAL EMERGENCY. SUMMON EMERGENCY MEDICAL ASSISTANCE OR GET THE VICTIM TO A HOSPITAL IMMEDIATELY. DELAY CAN BE FATAL. Move the victim to a cooler environment. Reduce body temperature with cold bath or sponging. Use extreme caution. Remove clothing, use fans and air conditioners. If temperature rises again, repeat process. Do not give fluids. Persons on salt restrictive diets should consult a physician before increasing their salt intake.
*For more information contact your local American Red Cross Chapter. Ask to enroll in a first aid course.
For more detailed Heat related information visit the following web sites.