Editorial – Summer of ’22 is a scorcher

Published 9:33 pm Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

Heat advisories are popping so frequently in Western Tidewater this summer that even one of our newspaper colleagues in “Hot-lanta” was impressed.

At this writing on Tuesday afternoon, the National Weather Service in Wakefield predicted a heat index of up to 107 — again.

MedStar Health’s Dr. Korin Hudson, an emergency room physician and one of the official team physicians to the Washington Capitals and the Washington Wizards, reached out with some safety tips for those who want to continue their outdoor exercise routines.

Email newsletter signup

Heat illness is a spectrum of disorders due to environmental exposure to heat, he explained. It includes minor conditions such as heat cramps, heat syncope (or fainting from the heat), and heat exhaustion, as well as the more severe condition known as heat stroke.

Heat stroke can be deadly for athletes of all ages and levels. Even the fittest and healthiest people need to watch out for signs of heat illness.

Sun exposure contributes to heat illness. More than just heat and humidity, the radiant effect of sun and heat absorbed into surfaces like blacktop and artificial turf can contribute to heat illness.

Here are Hudson’s tips:

  • Don’t exercise during the heat of the day (10 a.m. – 4 p.m.). Early mornings or evenings are best.
  • Wear loose, light fitting, moisture wicking fabric to help your body stay cool.
  • Hydrate before and during activity. Drinking plenty of water is key!
  • Have an emergency plan; train with a buddy, consider cooling methods and have a plan (cool space, water/ice tank or call 911)

The good news is that relief is on the way. After another scorcher topping out at 94 degrees on Wednesday, the NWS says daytime highs will be in the 80s starting Thursday and continuing into next week.

Suffolkians might even need to break out a light jacket Saturday night, when the thermometer will dip to a fall-like 62 degrees. Can October get here fast enough?