NOAA photo

This week’s temperatures in Iowa are fairly on target for the season, but soon enough, we’ll be getting into the hot, humid days of summer.

Today is Heat Awareness Day in Iowa and meteorologist Donna Dubberke, at the National Weather Service, explains the goals.

“Heat awareness is really important because it’s an underrated hazard,” Dubberke says. “We know it’s going to be hot in the summer and sometimes we don’t take it seriously and you can have serious injury and even fatalities in extreme cases if you don’t do the right things.”

She notes that spending too much time outside can mean more than just a bad case of sunburn.

“When we get hot and humid in the summer, it becomes really difficult for your body to make the necessary adjustments and stay cool enough,” Dubberke says. “If your body gets overheated, you can have heat illnesses, heat exhaustion, heat stroke. That’s why we’re encouraging people to learn what you need to do and to be ready for when it does get hot, even though it’s not going to be that hot this week.”

Iowa motorists need to take special care with their passengers when the weather starts to warm up.

“Never leave a pet or a child and in a hot car,” she says. “It can heat up so quickly, so much hotter and so much faster than you think it normally would.”

Find more tips about heat awareness at

(By Pat Powers, KQWC, Webster City)