Heat wave to scorch city through Wednesday

Published 2:22 pm Friday, July 17, 2020

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

The National Weather Service has issued a hazardous weather outlook in advance of increasing heat and humidity levels expected this weekend and through the middle of next week.

Heat indices of 100 to 105 will scorch the area Saturday and Sunday, with Monday through Wednesday being even worse, up to 109 degrees.

The Suffolk Fire & Rescue Department advises that prolonged exposure or any strenuous activity may lead to heat-related Illnesses that require immediate medical attention. As a result, citizens are encouraged to follow these tips to deal with the heat:

  • Drink plenty of fluids, stay in an air-conditioned environment, or stay in the shade, if possible.
  • Take extra precautions if you work or spend time outside. When possible, reschedule strenuous activities to early morning or evening. Know the signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Wear lightweight and loose-fitting clothing when possible and drink plenty of water.
  • To reduce risk during outdoor work, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration recommends scheduling frequent rest breaks in shade or air conditioned environment. Anyone overcome by heat should be moved to a cool and shaded location. Heat stroke is an emergency; call 911 if suspected.

Email newsletter signup

According to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, in 2019 there were 12 heat-related deaths in Virginia.

The Virginia Department of Health also offered these additional tips:

  • Take a cool shower or a bath if needed. Spending at least two hours per day in air conditioning significantly reduces the risk of heat-related illnesses. When temperatures reach the upper 90s or above, a fan may not prevent heat-related illness.
  • Drink plenty of fluids — two to four glasses of cool fluids each hour. To replace salt and minerals lost from sweating, drink fruit juice or a sports beverage during exercise or when you have to work outside. However, talk to your doctor first if you are on a fluid-restricted diet or medications, or on a low-salt diet.
  • Avoid sunburn and wear light-colored clothing. Sunburn limits your body’s ability to keep itself cool and causes loss of body fluids. Use sunscreen with a SPF of 15 or greater, and apply it at least 20 minutes before going outside.
  • Give your body a break since extreme heat can be stressful on your body. Limit physical activity until your body adjusts to the heat.
  • Never leave children or pets in cars. Temperatures inside a car can reach more than 150 degrees quickly, resulting in heat stroke and death.
  • Use the “buddy system” if you are working outside. While working outside and you suffer a heat-related illness, you could become confused or could lose consciousness. Therefore, make sure someone else knows of your plans.
  • Be sure to check on the elderly and neighbors without air conditioning.

Dominion Energy released the following energy-saving tips:

  • Adjust your thermostat. It’s the best way to conserve energy in the summer. You can save up to 3 percent on cooling costs for each degree you turn up your thermostat. Try the EPA’s recommended 78 degrees, especially when away from home.
  • Close your blinds. Sunlight shining through windows can account for up to 40 percent of unwanted heat gain and can force the air conditioner to work two to three times harder.
  • Cook on the grill. Use an outdoor grill or microwave often during hot weather to reduce heat gain from indoor cooking.
  • Consider doing dishes or laundry later in the evening. That will reduce the heat and humidity that are added to your home.
  • Use fans only when you’re in the room. Ceiling fans don’t cool spaces, but cool people by creating a wind chill effect.