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Triple-digit temperatures expected for a few more days

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Monday, June 25, 2012, at 5:43 p.m.
  • Updated Tuesday, June 26, 2012, at 7:01 a.m.

Projected highs this week in Wichita

Tuesday: 103

Wednesday: 104

Thursday: 102

Friday: 101

Saturday: 97

Source: National Weather Service

Heat safety tips

HEAT RASH: Caused by excessive sweating during hot, humid weather. Most common in young children. Resembles a red cluster of pimples or small blisters, more likely on the neck and upper chest, in the groin, under the breasts and in elbow creases.

The best treatment is to provide a cooler, less humid environment. Keep the affected area dry. Dusting powder may be used to increase comfort.

SUNBURN: Avoid if possible because it damages the skin. Although the discomfort is usually minor and healing often occurs in about a week, a more severe sunburn may require medical attention. Consult a doctor if the sunburn affects a baby younger than a year old or if fever, fluid-filled blisters or severe pain are present.

When treating sunburn, avoid repeated sun exposure, apply cold compresses or moisturizing lotion to affected areas and do not break blisters.

HEAT CRAMPS: Typically affect people who sweat a lot during strenuous activity, depleting the body’s salt and moisture. Heat cramps may also be a symptom of heat exhaustion. Heat cramps are muscle pains or spasms — usually in the abdomen, arms, or legs — that may occur in association with strenuous activity. Those with heart problems or on a low-sodium diet should get medical attention for heat cramps.

If cramps set in, stop all activity and sit quietly in a cool place. Drink clear juice or a sports beverage. Avoid strenuous activity for a few hours after the cramps subside, because further exertion may lead to heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Seek medical attention for heat cramps if they do not subside in one hour.

HEAT EXHAUSTION: A milder form of heat-related illness that can develop after several days of exposure to high temperatures and inadequate or unbalanced replacement of fluids. Those most prone to heat exhaustion are elderly people, people with high blood pressure, and people working or exercising in a hot environment.

Warning signs include heavy sweating, paleness, muscle cramps, fatigue, weakness, dizziness, headache, nausea or vomiting, and fainting.

The skin may be cool and moist. The victim’s pulse rate will be fast and weak, and breathing will be fast and shallow. Untreated heat exhaustion may progress to heat stroke. Seek medical attention immediately if symptoms are severe or the victim has heart problems or high blood pressure

Seek medical attention if symptoms worsen or last longer than one hour.

Drink cool, nonalcoholic beverages; rest; take a cool shower, bath or sponge bath; find an air-conditioned environment; and wear lightweight clothing.

HEAT STROKE: Occurs when the body is unable to regulate its temperature. The body’s temperature rises rapidly, the sweating mechanism fails, and the body is unable to cool down. Body temperature may rise to 106°F or higher within 10 to 15 minutes. Heat stroke can cause death or permanent disability if emergency treatment is not provided.

Warning signs may include an extremely high body temperature — above 103°F; red, hot, and dry skin with no sweating; rapid, strong pulse; throbbing headache, dizziness, nausea, confusion and unconsciousness.

Have someone call for immediate medical assistance and begin cooling the victim. Get the victim to a shady area and cool the person rapidly using whatever methods you can: immerse in a tub of cool water, place in a cool shower, spray with cool water from a garden hose, sponge with cool water.

Monitor body temperature, and continue cooling efforts until the body temperature drops to 101 or 102°F. If emergency medical personnel are delayed, call the hospital emergency room for further instructions. Do not give the victim fluids to drink.

Get medical assistance as soon as possible. Sometimes victims’ muscles will begin to twitch uncontrollably as a result of heat stroke. If this happens, keep them from injuring themselves, but do not place any object in the mouth and do not give fluids. If there is vomiting, make sure the airway remains open by turning them on their side.

For more information about keeping safe in extreme heat, go to http://www.kdheks.gov/beh/extreme_heat.htm.

Source: Kansas Department of Health and Environment

Get used to this.

The heat wave that has socked Kansas with triple-digit temperatures over the past few days appears set to stick around through at least the end of the week, forecasters say.

Wichita, which hit 100 for the first time on Sunday, climbed to 105 on Monday and is likely to see nothing but triple digits through the rest of the work week.

The heat will be even more intense in northern Kansas, forecasters say. Hays, for instance, is projected to reach 111 Tuesday and Wednesday.

Heat advisories were issued for more than two dozen counties in northern, eastern and southeastern Kansas, prompting state officials to urge residents to use caution in conducting outdoor activities.

“Plan ahead to stay out of the extreme heat as much as possible,” Angee Morgan, deputy director of the Kansas Division of Emergency Management, said in a prepared statement.

It’s gotten so hot, “it was even too hot to be at the lake,” said Jody McCain, who works in Colby in northwest Kansas.

The temperature hit 113 in the area on Sunday, she said.

In Hill City, where it reached 114 on Sunday, it’s so hot farmers aren’t even talking about the weather.

They’re grateful the wheat harvest wrapped up before the heat wave arrived.

“That would be horrible” to be harvesting in this heat, said Dawn Bell, who works at the Kansas State University Research and Extension Service office in Hill City.

“I don’t ever remember it this hot — this early in the year, anyway.”

As hot as it has been — and figures to be for the next several days — forecasters say this isn’t a repeat of 2011, when Wichita set a record with 53 days of triple-digit temperatures.

“Last year, it started in late May,” said Ken Cook, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Wichita. “We’re already a month behind that.

“Is that to say we’re not going to have a hot summer? No. But the length of it won’t be the same.”

This June is still shaping up to be hotter than average, though. Wichita averages slightly more than one 100-degree day each June.

If the forecast holds, there will be six June 100s this year. Last year, there were 11 triple-digit days in June.

A high-pressure ridge has settled over the Plains and shows no signs of budging for at least the next 10 days, Cook said. Northwest Kansas has been hotter than the Wichita area because it’s drier, allowing the air to heat up more quickly.

Forecast models suggest temperatures may drop below 100 for highs next week, offering a bit of relief to the region.

The weather pattern cooking the region isn’t anything unusual for this time of year in the central U.S., Cook said.

“That’s summer in the Plains,” he said.

Reach Stan Finger at 316-268-6437 or sfinger@wichitaeagle.com.

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