Hot ideas for keeping yourself cool
A week of mild weather has given air conditioners a break, but summer is set to return 100-degree heat to the county this weekend.
“Wednesday will be the last nice day in the 80s,” National Weather Service Forecaster Mick McGuire said Monday evening. “The heat really will turn up on Thursday and creep up all week.”
County health nurse Diedre Serene hopes residents will heed the threat of heat-related illness.
“Probably what you want to do is stay as cool as you can,” she said. “If you can, stay in the shade or wear a sun hat. And drink lots of water.”
Dispatchers have fielded four calls for heat-related illnesses so far this summer. The average is six, according to county emergency communications.
July and August are peak months for heat exhaustion and heat stroke.
Two have made it to St. Luke Hospital, marking director Roger Schroeder said.
“Mostly they are people who have been working outside,” he said.
Muscle cramping, nausea, and excessive sweating are symptoms of heat exhaustion, which is less serious than heat stroke, Serene said.
Heat stroke occurs when a patient’s body temperature rises to more than 103. It is a life-threatening emergency, Serene said.
Heat stroke victims suffer rapid heart rate, dizziness, nausea and confusion and may even lose consciousness.
“If someone feels faint or is staggering call 911,” Serene said. “If you can, get them out of the sun while you are waiting for help. Apply cool packs, too.”
McGuire said the heat wave could extend into next week as hot, dry air that has scorched the West Coast moves east.
It will be joined by air from the south that will cause relative humidity to creep back up this weekend, pushing dew points into the 70s.
“If we get highs in the upper 90s and dew points in the 70s, that’s going to feel muggy and hot,” McGuire said.
The National Weather Service issues warnings for high heat when indexes climb to more than 105.
Heat indexes are a measure of what the temperature will feel like when relative humidity is combined with air temperature.
“We refer to it as apparent temperature,” McGuire said.
Indexes are projected to be about 103 Friday and Saturday, but residents still should be careful venturing outdoors.
“It’s still going to be very hot, even if it’s not enough to issue an advisory,” he said.
The 90- and 100-degree heat forecast for these next two weeks is typical of Kansas in July, he said.
Last modified July 22, 2021