Vicksburg under excessive heat warning through the weekend

Published 12:32 pm Friday, July 30, 2021

The National Weather Service of the United States is predicting temperatures to reach a high of 100 degrees Friday in Vicksburg triggering an excessive heat warning — here’s what to do to stay safe.

An excessive heat warning is issued when there is an extremely dangerous heat threat as a result of high-temperature indexes. A warning will be issued by the National Weather Service if at least one of two criteria is met. The first is if the heat index is 105 degrees for three hours or more in two consecutive days each. The second reason a warning would be issued is if the heat index is greater than 115 degrees for any amount of time.

On Friday in Vicksburg, the heat index will reach as high as 115 degrees and also stay above 105 degrees for several hours, therefore meeting both of the necessary criteria. The high temperatures are predicted to last through the weekend.

Alan Campbell, meteorologist at the National Weather Service, said these temperatures can be dangerous because of the effects it has on the body. He said excessive heat can cause heat stress leading to heat exhaustion, heat strokes and, in extreme cases, death.

“This can occur regardless of what type of outdoor activity you’re engaged in, whether it be recreational or folks that workout outdoors during those conditions,” Campbell said.

To avoid the dangers of the heat, the National Weather Service recommends people wear light clothing, stay hydrated by rotating water and electrolytes and taking breaks in cool areas.

“Just relocating from direct exposure to the sun to shaded location may be a five- to 10-degree temperature difference that allows the body to cool down a bit,” Campbell said.

However, Campbell recommends that you don’t go outside unless you absolutely have to. If you do have to go outside, there are signs to pay attention to that heat stress may be occurring. These signs include dizziness, shortness of breath, sweating profusely, weakness and vomiting.

Feeling like you’re going to pass out is a definite sign of some type of heat illness trying to set in,” Campbell said.

If you start to experience these symptoms or see someone experiencing this, move yourself or the other person to a cool area and call 911 before symptoms progress.

In addition to keeping yourself safe, Campbell said there are other things people need to think about during an extreme heat warning. These include but are not limited to: check on your elderly neighbors or those without air conditioning, keep pets indoors and given plenty of water and never leave a child unattended in a car.

We have a slogan: ‘Beat the heat and check the backseat,’” Campbell said.

Campbell said these conditions will last through the weekend so people should keep these things in mind. However, he said a cool front is due to move in late Sunday night and early Monday that will provide some relief from the high temperatures.

At least for the next couple of days, we will have to deal with these conditions,” Campbell said. “Just going to have to hang in there a little bit longer.”