Hot weather is here for a while, so try to keep your cool – The Express Times

May 30, 2013 by  
Filed under Wind Energy Tips

On Tuesday, the high temperature recorded at Lehigh Valley International Airport was a chilly 59 degrees.

The forecast high for today is a blazing 91 and the air quality’s going to be lousy as well, AccuWeather and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection report.

WeatherWorks, the forecasting service out of Hackettstown, explains in a posting by meteorologist Mike Murphy what many folks around here already know — when there are three days in a row of 90-degree or higher temperatures, we are in a heat wave. But what the service also points out is if the temperature doesn’t drop below 70, it can be dangerous as well.

Daytime highs over the next three days — 91, 90 and 90 — mean a heat wave (and even if the thermometer doesn’t rise that high, it’s still going to be stinking and miserably hot). But temperatures at night are expected to fall into the mid-60s, so it won’t be quite as dangerous as it could be and you might actually be able to sleep, forecasters say.

Sanity should return by Monday, with a high of 79. And the forecast high for a week from today, if you need something to look forward to, is 70, AccuWeather says.

The record high for today is 94 degrees, set in 1987, according to the National Weather Service. Here’s something for when you reach into the fridge for a freeze pop and get a cold blast in the face — the record low is 36 degrees, set in 1949. (Keep in mind, it got down to 49 degrees on Tuesday, so we’re not that far away from sweater weather.)

And here’s something for the water cooler this morning — WeatherWorks says that in Sweden, a heat wave is considered five days in a row above 77 degrees.

These, by the way, are not good days to get stupid in the water. Many public pools are closed but the region’s rivers offer cooling temptations. Don’t let them draw you in. It could kill you.

Here’s some cooling tips from PPL Electric Utilities:

• Close drapes and shades during the day to block the hot sun.

• Most people can be comfortable wearing light clothing and setting their thermostat between 72 and 78 degrees. You will save energy for every degree higher you can set your thermostat.

• Minimize the use of heat-generating appliances such as the dishwasher, stove, washer and dryer during the warmest hours of the day.

• Ceiling fans create air movement and are economical to operate. But use them only in rooms that will be occupied, since the fan cools your body by moving air over the skin and creating a wind chill. Using a ceiling fan often lets you raise the temperature setting on your thermostat by 1 to 3 degrees and still feel cool.

• If you don’t have air conditioning, use multiple fans with windows open to circulate air and be safe. Seek out cool places such as malls.

• Smart planting of trees and shrubs around your home also can help. Deciduous trees, those that lose their leaves in winter, can provide valuable cooling shade in the summer, but let the warm sun through in winter. In addition, evergreen trees and shrubs provide shade, but also serve to block cold winter winds. Visit pplelectric.com for tips on planting the right tree to avoid problems with power lines, as well as more tips, tools and programs that can help you save energy.

And webmd.com tells us this about heat stroke:

“Heat stroke results from prolonged exposure to high temperatures — usually in combination with dehydration — which leads to failure of the body’s temperature control system. … The hallmark symptom of heat stroke is a core body temperature above 105 degrees Fahrenheit. But fainting may be the first sign.”

Other symptoms may include, the website says:

• Throbbing headache

• Dizziness and light-headedness

• Lack of sweating despite the heat

• Red, hot, and dry skin

• Muscle weakness or cramps

• Nausea and vomiting

• Rapid heartbeat, which may be either strong or weak

• Rapid, shallow breathing

• Behavioral changes such as confusion, disorientation, or staggering

• Seizures

• Unconsciousness

If someone is showing signs of heat strike, call 911 and administer first aid such as getting the person to a cooler area and removing unnecessary clothes, the website says.

While heat stroke mostly affects people older than 50, it can take a toll on young athletes, webmd.com says. As football coaches learned years ago and sometimes even practice, this is not the type of weather to tough it out. Get out of the sun when possible and stay well hydrated.

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