The sweltering heat and humidity of summer will be felt across much of the southern and central Plains for the rest of this week, pushing toward the Atlantic Ocean into the weekend. Heat Advisories have been issued for today (Wednesday) from New Mexico to Iowa and Alabama.
Heat Advisories extend northward to around Omaha. Highs will reach above the century mark into Kansas. Heat related illnesses such as heat exhaustion and heat stroke will be possible. People most vulnerable include those who are spending lots of time outdoors, those who do not have air conditioning, young children, the elderly, and those with chronic ailments.
A strong ridge of high pressure in the upper levels of the atmosphere will lead to the hot temperatures. Recognize the signs and symptoms of heat illness. Early symptoms include things such as headache, thirst, and muscle cramps. Serious symptoms include weakness, skin that is cool to the touch, fast but weak pulse, nausea, and fainting. Severe symptoms include hot and red dry skin, fast and strong pulse, sweating that has stopped, and unconsciousness. Untreated heat illness can lead to fatal heat stroke.
As the heat continues to build and expand, record highs will be possible in the Front Range and High Plains. Triple digit highs are likely.
Drink plenty of fluids, stay in an air-conditioned room, avoid prolonged periods in the sun, and check on relatives and neighbors, especially the elderly. Young children and pets should never be left unattended in vehicles under any circumstances. This is especially true during warm or hot weather when car interiors can reach lethal temperatures in a matter of minutes.
From Friday into the weekend, the heat will expand eastward from the Ohio Valley to the Eastern Seaboard. Highs may approach the century point in some areas.
When possible, reschedule strenuous activities to early morning or evening. Know the signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Wear light weight and loose fitting clothing when possible and drink plenty of water.
Take extra precautions if you work or spend time outside. To reduce risk during outdoor work the occupational safety and health administration recommends scheduling frequent rest breaks in shaded or air conditioned environments. Anyone overcome by heat should be moved to a cool and shaded location.
For WeatherNation: Meteorologist Mace Michaels