The dog days of summer are here and though the days are perfect for being outside the prolonged exposure to the hot weather isn’t healthy for your body. With daytime temperatures ranging from the low to mid-90s in some inland locations, the heat can really make your body work harder to keep itself cool. Heat indices are expected to be close to 100°F across parts of the northeastern United States. The heat index is a measure of how hot it is outside when you factor in the relative humidity with the actual air temperature. For much of the northeast, local National Weather Service offices have issued heat advisories.
When temperatures are this hot and the dewpoints are in the mid to upper-60s or higher, the body has a harder time regulating its body temperature. This is due to the fact that the evaporation process is slowed down. It is important to keep in mind basic safety tips when temperatures get this warm. Wear loose, light fitting, and light colored clothing. Be sure to limit outdoor activity during the hottest part of the day. Try to get outdoor activities done during the morning or evening time when the sun isn’t as high in the sky and the temperatures have dropped. If you do need to be outside, be sure your skin is protected from the sun and stay hydrated. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration recommends taking frequent breaks in air conditioned or shaded areas while working.
If you do not have air conditioning, seek out local community resources like the library or a community center to take a break in. Check your local parks and recreation departments to see if pools and state beaches are open for extended hours. Remember to never leave children or pets alone in a closed vehicle, as it can be lethal to them. Temperatures can rise quickly in a very short amount of time in a vehicle with the windows rolled up. Finally, make sure to check on the elderly or anyone who is sensitive to these dangerous temperatures and recognize the symptoms of heat illness. Keep in mind some of these tips as summer continues on to stay healthy and enjoy it!
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©2019 Meteorologist Shannon Scully