Summer heat wave has arrived

Published 7:59 pm Saturday, June 9, 2018

The summer heat wave is officially here.

Temperatures in Vicksburg are expected to creep into the 90s almost every day over the next week and a half and the heat index is projected to be even higher with expectations that it will hit 100 most days.

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“In late morning, the temperature is not so bad, but the humidity is really high so the heat index starts creeping up and runs through 4 or 5 in the afternoon,” said Greg Garrett, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Jackson. “Once the heat index starts rising really high and on up above 100, that may easily last on into the evening.”

As the summer progresses, the temperatures and the heat index will only get higher as the dew point rises.

“Right now, our dew points have been running from the low 60s to the mid 60s in the afternoon,” Garrett said. “As we move later into the month, that will start creeping up into the 70s. When we start seeing that with temperatures in the low 90s, heat indices in the 100s will be common.”

As the heat index rises, so does the danger of being outside. Heather Dunham, a physician assistant at Medical Associates, recommended that people try to stay indoors between the hours of 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., but if you do venture outside make sure to stay hydrated and pay attention to if you are getting overheated or dehydrated.

“Dizziness, blurred vision and unsteady gate are signs of getting overheated right before they are going to pass out and excessive sweating,” Dunham said. If any of those symptoms appears, Dunham recommended getting inside as quickly as possible and drinking either water or Gatorade as well as putting a cold towel on the back of your neck to help lower your body temperature.

Issues related to heat are not the only danger associated with summer either. Dunham said the summer months can lead to allergy issues with the increase in pollen and people need to also watch out for ants, wasps, bees and snakes, which are more active this time of year.

And of course wear sunscreen when going outside. Dunham recommended wearing sunscreen with an SPF between 30 and 50, but no matter what you choose make sure to reapply it frequently, she said.