More heat is ahead for the Plains today (Thursday) with the hot temperatures expanding to the north and east. Heat alerts have been issued for 20 states from the Great Lakes to the deep South. Triple digits highs will push as far north as Nebraska.
As the strong ridge of high pressure pushes to the north and east, highs will approach the century point in the Upper Midwest. Excessive Heat Watches have been issued around Minneapolis and Chicago. 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.
Record highs are possible Saturday around the Great Lakes and Ohio Valley. 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.
The oppressive heat will push to the east on Sunday into New England. More record highs are possible, with some areas seeing the mercury climb into the triple digits. Residents are reminded to 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.
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.
As always, make sure you are taking the proper precautions and staying safe if you plan to be outdoors.
For WeatherNation: Meteorologist Mace Michaels