PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- Here comes the heat! High temperatures will be above 110 in our region this weekend. And that’s not all. By the middle of next week we could see temperatures as high as 116, or even 118!
Arizona's Weather Authority Chief Meteorologist Royal Norman says having a heat warning for seven days in a row is very unusual. "Even last year, the summer of record heat, the longest heat warning lasted nine days." Last year, there were 48 Excessive Heat Warnings issued for metro Phoenix. These are the first heat warnings of the year. "While it’s possible we could get to 118 during the heatwave, that would be a outlier. More than likely our top temps will be 115 or 116 which is still very dangerous heat," says Royal.
Extreme heat brings potentially deadly consequences. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 600 people die from extreme heat every year. Everyone should take precautions to stay safe from the heat. Adults age 65 and over, children under age 2 and people with chronic health conditions or behavioral illnesses may be especially vulnerable to the effects of high heat.
Follow these five steps to protect your health.
1. Schedule your day. Doing strenuous activities (such as outdoor exercise or yardwork), schedule them for early morning. Avoid the time from mid-afternoon to early evening when temperatures are highest.
2. Seek air conditioning. When it’s this hot, a fan won’t cut it. Use your air conditioner. If you don’t have one at your home, spend time at a place that does, such as a local shopping center, library or movie theater. Or take a drive with the A/C on in your car. If your neighbor doesn’t have A/C and you do, invite them over to your place during the midday heat.
3. Watch what you wear. Choose light-colored, loose-fitting and lightweight clothing.
4. Drink water (even if you’re not thirsty). This goes for people of all ages. You might consider drinking a beverage that contains electrolytes, such as a sports drink. (Look for one with no or low sugar added.) Be aware that by the time you feel thirsty, you're already dehydrated.
5. Know the warning signs of heat-related illness.
- Heat cramps – These muscle spasms often occur in the legs or abdomen.
- Heat exhaustion – Symptoms include skin that’s cool, moist, pale or ashen in color, headache, nausea, dizziness, weakness, exhaustion or heavy sweating.
- Heat stroke – Symptoms include hot, red skin, vomiting, high body temperature and possible loss of consciousness.
It's also a good idea to check on your neighbors. If your loved ones are age 65 or over, or if you have relatives in that age range, check in to see how they’re coping with the heat. Older adults are more susceptible to heat-related illnesses because of age, chronic illnesses, and medications they may take to combat any health needs.
Also never leave an infant or pet in a hot car. According to the CDC, temperatures inside a car can raise by 20 degrees Fahrenheit within the first 10 minutes, even with a window cracked open.