Temps over 100 forecast for weekend
Dangerously high temperatures have been forecast for the Heart of Virginia that will bring the heat index up into the triple digits over the weekend.
At its peak, according to the forecast from the National Weather Service (NWS) in Wakefield, the heat index could climb between 105-110 degrees.
The highest temperatures are expected to begin Friday and continue through the weekend.
Eric Seymour, senior service hydrologist from the NWS in Wakefield, which covers Lunenburg County, said heat coming from the Midwest is among some of the factors involved in the heat advisory.
While he said hot temperatures aren’t unusual for the summer, this may be the hottest the weather gets. Seymour said the evenings are also expected to be hot.
Seymour encouraged people, if possible, to greatly reduce or avoid being outside between the peak heat times of 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. When it can’t be avoided, for example, if someone’s job requires them to be outdoors, Seymour encourages the following:
“If you are outside, make sure you are taking breaks, drinking plenty of water; you want to wear lightweight clothing,” Seymour said.
Andrew Loconto, meteorologist with the NWS in Blacksburg encouraged people to stay in shaded areas whenever possible and drink a lot of water and drinks such as Gatorade or Powerade to stay hydrated.
Lunenburg County Administration said that the county will evaluate opening a cooling center in the county should there be emergent need. As of Thursday, there were no cooling centers scheduled to open.
For senior residents, Piedmont Senior Resources Area Agency on Aging has programs to help curb exposure to the heat.
“According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), older adults do not adjust as well as young people to sudden changes in temperature,” Jordan Miles, director of Transportation and Nutrition, said. “They are more likely to have a chronic medical condition that changes normal body responses to heat, and they are more likely to take prescription medicines that affect the body’s ability to control its temperature or sweat.
Piedmont Senior Resources (PSR) receives a grant from Dominion Energy that allows us to distribute air conditioners to seniors who have medical conditions which are exacerbated by the heat. For more information on this program and its criteria, please contact us.Also, we have our friendship cafes open on a rotating basis Monday-Friday from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. that offer a climate-controlled, friendly atmosphere.”
STEPS Inc. offers an Energy Share program from Dominion Energy that provides cooling assistance for residents ages 60 and older. For more information, contact Michele Childress at (434) 315-5909 Ext. 203.
The PSR office can be contacted at (434) 767-5588.
“The CDC also recommends seniors stay in air-conditioned buildings as much as possible,” Miles said. “Do not rely on a fan as your main cooling source when it’s really hot outside. Drink more water than usual, and don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink. If your doctor limits the amount of fluids you drink or has you on water pills, ask them how much you should drink during hot weather. Avoid using the stove or oven to cook — it will make you and your house hotter. Wear loose, lightweight, light-colored clothing. Take cool showers or baths to cool down. Check on a friend or neighbor and have someone do the same for you.”
HEAT AND HEALTH
Dr. Robert Nash with Virginia Department of Health (VDH) Piedmont Health District directed readers to information from the VDH about the symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke.
Heat exhaustion, according to the VDH, occurs when the body loses too much salt and water from sweating in heat.
Symptoms, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), include heavy sweating, cold, pale and clammy skin, fast, weak pulse, nausea and vomiting, muscle cramps, tiredness and weakness, dizziness, headache and fainting.
If untreated, heat exhaustion can become heat stroke, which can be fatal and requires immediate medical attention.
Heat stroke symptoms, according to the CDC include high body temperature, hot, red, dry or damp skin, fast, strong pulse, headache, dizziness, nausea, confusion and losing consciousness.
The Virginia Department of Emergency Management (VDEM) and Prince Edward County officials cited that children’s body temperature can heat up three to five times faster than adults. In addition to keeping children and pets well-hydrated, VDEM also advises that children or pets should never be left inside parked vehicles during extremely hot weather, even with windows down or air conditioning on. VDEM and Prince Edward officials cited that in 10 minutes, the internal temperature of a vehicle can raise almost 20 degrees.