LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (National Weather Service) – Heat and humidity can create life-threatening conditions during the Summer. Read more about it below.
The Heat and Your Body
When the Summer months arrive in Arkansas, the heat can become unbearable at times. Factoring in high humidity, it feels warmer than it actually is. More specifically, the body is not able to cool as effectively through sweating.
On a dry day, sweat evaporates into the air…which creates cooling. Adding moisture to the atmosphere cuts down on evaporation. Over time, the body temperature rises and shuts down. Heat is the number one weather-related killer across the United States (more than hurricanes, floods, lightning, and tornadoes). The “heat index” considers the effects of heat and humidity. When these variables combine to make it feel like 105 degrees or greater, it is considered dangerous. For example, a temperature of 96 degrees with a relative humidity of 50 percent creates a heat index of 108 degrees. For more examples, click here to use a meteorological calculator.
When heat index values meet or exceed 105 degrees for several hours over a fairly large area…the National Weather Service will usually issue a Heat Advisory. When heat index values reach 115 degrees for one hour over a fairly large area…an Excessive Heat Warning may be posted.
Hot Cars – Don’t Leave Children or Pets Inside
While summer heat is stifling enough just standing in the sun, it is even worse in a parked car. Your vehicle acts very much like a greenhouse. Energy from the sun goes through the windows and quickly heats the dashboard and seats, which in turn warm the surrounding air. Temperatures in the car can rise as much as 30 to 35 degrees in a half-hour. Small children can easily suffer from heatstroke when faced with these conditions. Their body temperatures warm three to five times as fast as an adult. Pets are also in big trouble considering many have a thick coat of fur.
- If you are outside in the heat for any length of time, use some common sense and stay cool. Why? Heat can be deadly. To avoid being a victim…drink plenty of non-alcoholic fluids.
- Go to an air-conditioned area periodically to help keep your body temperature down.
- Of course, while outdoors…wear light-colored loose-fitting clothing and don’t exert yourself too much. And check on the elderly to make sure they are in a cool environment. Every year…someone succumbs to the heat. Don’t let that someone be you.
- Finally, don’t forget about your pets! If you leave them outdoors, provide plenty of cool water and make sure there is a shady spot available.
Other than the heat, there is one more item you might consider as you head outdoors. Too much exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays could damage your skin. To help you protect yourself, check out the UV (i.e. ultraviolet) Index links below.
Click here for more information about heat and heat safety from the National Weather Service.