When people hear about the potential of temperatures near 100 degrees Fahrenheit and heat indexes causing outside to feel like 110 degrees, hot weather becomes the hot topic.
The National Weather Service regional forecast office in Lincoln recently announced that the heat advisory issued for today and tomorrow has been officially upgraded to an excessive heat warning in effect until tomorrow night at 8 p.m.
Though we have seen a couple heat advisories this year from the National Weather Service, this is the first excessive heat warning put in place for 2018.
State Climatologist Jim Angel mentions the necessary steps people need to take to reduce their chances of suffering from either heat exhaustion or a heat stroke.
“Rule number one is to stay hydrated because that helps your body’s natural cooling system. Also, if you have to work outdoors, make sure to take frequent breaks in shade or air conditioning, something to allow your body to take a break from working to cool your body, because that is work and you do get tired of that, which is heat exhaustion. And then when it gets too bad you get into the heat stroke phase. So stay hydrated, take frequent breaks, and try to stay out of the sun during the hottest part of the day.”
Angel says that though the excessive heat warning ends Saturday, the heat will not.
“The National Weather Service forecast has us in the 90s for basically the next week. We’re going to be struggling with hot and humid weather for at least the next seven days.”
Angel describes the impact of light rainfall during excessive heat on levels of humidity.
“We got a pretty good chance of showers pretty much all through the next week, about a 30-40 percent chance on most days. Once you get rainfall and the sun comes back out, that sun will evaporate all that water, which will keep humidity levels high. This is a classic case for Illinois of the hot and humid conditions combined.”
The excessive heat warning began at 10 a.m. today and runs until tomorrow evening. Check on infants and elderly relatives and neighbors regularly. Young children and pets should never be left unattended in vehicles under any circumstances. This is especially true during hot weather when car interiors can reach lethal temperatures in a matter of minutes.