It was a scorcher.
Temperatures in Oskaloosa hovered around 93 degrees Monday afternoon, which isn’t a new record. However, it was still very hot and humid outdoors.
Oskaloosa’s record high temperature for June 18 is 98 degrees, which was reached in 1953, according to the National Weather Service in Des Moines. According to the NWS, Ottumwa’s record high for June 18 was 103 degrees, which occurred in 1911.
According to the NWS, the hot and humid conditions Monday fostered near record temperatures throughout most of Iowa. As is common during this kind of weather, the NWS said the elderly and those who have preexisting health problems should pay special attention to these conditions.
Those working outdoors in these conditions are advised to drink plenty of water, wear loose-fitting and light-colored clothing and to simply rest indoors or in the shade when needed.
On Monday morning, Jamey Robinson, Mahaska County Emergency Management coordinator, said cooling centers had not been requested. However, he noted that those looking to get out of the heat can go to Walmart or the Penn Central Mall.
The Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management Division and the National Weather Service recently designated June 14 as Heat Awareness Day in Iowa. They provided the following tips for hot weather conditions.
• Eat well-balanced, light meals.
• Drink plenty of water regularly. Persons who have epilepsy or heart, kidney, or liver disease; are on fluid-restrictive diets; or have a problem with fluid retention should consult a doctor before increasing liquid intake.
• Limit intake of alcoholic beverages. Although beer and alcoholic beverages appear to satisfy thirst, they actually cause further body dehydration.
• Stay indoors as much as possible. If air conditioning is not available, stay on the lowest floor out of the sunshine.
• Avoid too much sunshine. Sunburn slows the skin’s ability to cool itself. Use a sunscreen lotion with a high SPF (sun protection factor) rating.
• Avoid extreme temperature changes. A cool shower immediately after coming in from hot temperatures can result in hypothermia, particularly for elderly and very young people.
• Slow down, reduce, eliminate or reschedule strenuous activities. High-risk individuals should stay in cool places. Get plenty of rest to allow your natural “cooling system” to work.
• Dress in loose-fitting clothes that cover as much skin as possible. Lightweight, light-colored clothing that reflects heat and sunlight and helps maintain normal body temperature.
• Protect face and head by wearing a wide-brimmed hat.
Children and automobiles: a lethal combination
Every year in the United States, several children die from hyperthermia. Even on a mild, 72-degree day, a child can die from heat stroke. According to the Department of Geosciences at San Francisco State University, 33 children in the U.S. died of hyperthermia in 2011, as a result of being left in automobiles; 530 children have died of hyperthermia as a result of being left in cars in the U.S. since 1998 (http://www.ggweather.com/heat/). Never leave your children unattended in an automobile. Beat the heat — check the backseat.
Your pets are also at risk for heat stroke. Dogs overheat even faster than children. Leaving your pet in your car in the summer, even with the windows cracked, can be a fatal mistake.
For more heat safety tips, visit www.beready.iowa.gov or www.crh.noaa.gov/dmx.
According to the National Weather Service, today’s high temperature is expected to be somewhere in the low 90s. High temperatures for the remainder of the week are expected to be in the 80s.
Herald City Editor Andy Goodell can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
It was a scorcher.
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