Summer will arrive this coming weekend and along with the fun in the sun many Iowans have planned, they’re reminded heat kills more Americans each year than hurricanes, lightning, tornadoes and floods combined. Meteorologist Kelsey Angle, the warning coordinator at the National Weather Service office in Johnston, says it’s been cooler lately, but don’t be fooled.
Angle says, “Temperatures will be increasing as well as the humidity and with that does come the danger if people don’t take the necessary precautions.” It’s unfortunate, but every summer there are many Iowans hospitalized — or killed — by heat-related illnesses.
“I just want to make sure people are drinking plenty of water, wearing light-colored and loose-fitting clothing if they’re going to be working outside during the hot summer months,” Angle says, “and if they’re starting to feel the impact from the heat, that they’re taking frequent breaks.”
When it’s really hot and humid, evaporation doesn’t take place and the body can’t cool well. Your body temperature can increase to a potentially-fatal 106 degrees in as little as ten minutes and then, heat stroke can strike. Most animals are just as susceptible. Angle says, “It’s important to remember pets during the hot summer months, that we’re providing them shade as well as plenty of water so that they can cool their bodies efficiently and effectively.”
Learn more about the heat and humidity at www.weather.gov/dmx
(Pat Powers, KQWC, Webster City contributed to this report)