Rare Extended Heat Wave Requires Extra Caution
By WestKyStar Staff
PADUCAH, KY - A rare extended heat wave will cover the entire region from June 28-July 4. An event like this (if temperatures reach 101 degrees or above for 4 or more days in a row) only happens every 30-50 years. Confidence in this forecast is very high, and so is the risk.
Beau Dodson, Meteorologist for McCracken County Emergency Management, said that temperatures from 98-105 degrees, along with low humidity levels, may make the heat deceptive in nature, because sweat will evaporate from the skin faster than usual. This may deceive people into thinking they are not dehydrated. High temperatures will also likely occur during overnight periods, and the cumulative impact of the heat could cause concern for elderly residents and those with medical problems.
Dodson recommends that parents, schools and daycare centers consider limiting sports activities to early morning hours and evening hours, and make sure children are well hydrated. There will be a higher than usual risk of heat related illnesses. Outdoor events such as county fairs and races/outdoor events will be impacted, as well. Avoid drinks with caffeine or alcoholic beverages (which cause dehydration to occur faster). Have plenty of water available, and make sure everyone is familiar with how to spot heat related illnesses.
Residents are reminded to use extra caution during this heat wave, and check on elderly neighbors. Remember to make sure outdoor pets have fresh water and shade. Avoid leaving children, elderly, or pets in vehicles, because temperatures inside cars can quickly rise above 140 degrees in just a few minutes. Cracking a window won't help. When at home, keep car doors locked, to prevent kids from playing inside vehicles.
Burn bans are in effect for many communities in our region - use extreme care or consider not using fireworks during the upcoming weekend and next week. Check with your local authorities for a complete list of where burn bans are in effect.
Dodson said it is unusual to have multiple days in a row with temperatures in the 100s. One has to go back to the 1930s and 1950s to find a similar weather pattern that produced 4 or more days with temperatures of 101 degrees or above.