Today’s forecast only calls for high temperatures across Iowa in the 60s and 70s, a far cry from the extreme heat of a year ago. Still, today is Heat Awareness Day, as Iowans are reminded about the dangers of steamy hot weather.
Meteorologist Jeff Johnson, at the National Weather Service, says don’t be fooled, it’s coming. “We are heading into summer and eventually, we will get hot and humid,” he says. “One thing to consider with all the rain we’ve been having this spring is, the summer is probably going to be more humid than last year.”
While most of Iowa was very dry during the drought of 2012, he says this summer could be a very different story, especially in light of the exceptionally wet spring we’ve had. “We have all the moisture in the ground so when that starts to evaporate, especially when we get the corn going, it’s going to increase the moisture near the surface of the earth,” Johnson says, “and when we couple that with the hot air masses, we could end up with some extreme heat situations.”
Last year was one of the hottest in Iowa history. Johnson says everyone needs to use common sense when the heat of summer arrives.
“Avoid exercising in the heat of the day and if you can, head inside and get in some air conditioning,” Johnson says. “Check on the elderly because they are very vulnerable to the ramifications of extreme heat and humidity, especially if they don’t have air conditioning. Slow down and do your exercise in the evening or early morning hours. If you have to be out, make sure you hydrate and avoid alcohol when you’re doing that.”
For more tips on coping with the heat, visit : www.weather.gov.
By Pat Powers, KQWC, Webster City