School may be back in session for some, but summer is far from over.
Earlier this week, Washington County was under a heat advisory with the head index reaching up to 108 degrees. Today, temperatures have slightly dropped with temperatures reaching a high of 93 degrees and the heat index reaching 102 degrees.
For the rest of the week, temperatures will hover in the lower-to-mid 90s with the head index reaching the upper 90s and lower 100s. Temperatures are expected to climb higher as the weekend approaches with another chance for a heat advisory.
National Weather Service meteorologist Dan Byrd said these hot temperatures aren’t going away anytime too soon.
“It’s still early August, these temperatures could easily roll into the month of September here in the South,” he said.
Also this week, sporadic storms are expected to move across the region every day.
“You can expect a mild thunderstorm each day but it’s not looking to be anything significant. These will be more summertime thunderstorms that roll out in the afternoon each day,” Byrd said.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, more than 600 people in the United States are killed by extreme heat every year.
Tammy Reed-Founder, Mississippi Disaster and Preparedness Planning LLC, said people need to stay mindful of the dangers that come with these hot temperatures.
There are some steps to take for those who work outdoors, exercise outdoors, and practice sports outdoors. Anyone who works in the heat for long periods of time need to periodically stop to get a break in the shade, drink plenty of water and keep a cool rag close by to periodically place on the back of your neck, Reed said.
“For those who work in the heat daily, don’t assume you are immune to the dangers. You are not,” she said.
Work crews and athletes alike should keep their eyes out for each other and do periodic checks on each other.
“For athletes starting summer training, keep an eye on your teammates. Alert your supervisor/boss/coach if you notice someone appears disoriented or confused. Get them to a cool place and get them water to drink,” she said.
Anyone who begins to feel dizzy, get clammy, get chills, or stop sweating needs to immediately stop the work/activity they are doing, get out of the heat, find a cool spot, and get hydrated. If possible, get inside an air conditioned vehicle or building.
“If you are part of an outside work crew, sports team, make sure you and your coworkers/teammates know the difference between heat exhaustion and heat stroke," she said.
Heat exhaustion symptoms include muscle cramps, heavy sweating, weakness, fast, weak pulse, dizziness, nausea or vomiting and fainting.
Heat stroke symptoms include an altered mental state, body temperature above 103 degrees, hot, red dry or moist skin, loss of consciousness and a fast, rapid pulse. If anyone experience any of these symptoms, they need to immediately call 911 and try to keep cool and hydrated.
Neighbors, too, should be mindful of their residents and regularly check on their elderly and vulnerable neighbors. Reed also stressed the importance of never leaving a child, family member or pet unattended in a parked vehicle.
“Not even for one second, even if a window is cracked open. Ever,” she said.