Hot temps, storms forecast

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Excessive heat and numerous thunderstorms are expected to sweep through Covington County for the week, according to the National Weather Service.

Despite the rain, it’s still going to be a hot one, forecasters say.

Today, the high will be around 89 with a 60 percent chance of thunderstorms

Into tonight, there will be a 30 percent of showers and thunderstorms before 1 a.m., with a low of around 74.

Wednesday brings a 50 percent chance of rain, but a high of around 91.

Wednesday night’s low is around 74.

A 30 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms is forecast for Thursday with a high of 92.

Friday is expected to be even hotter with a high of 94 and a 30 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms.

Saturday and Sunday will be equally as hot and have as much thunderstorms.

The National Weather Service has issued a hazardous weather outlook which says showers and thunderstorms will become numerous at times Tuesday and Wednesday. The storms will be capable of producing torrential rainfall and localized flooding issues are possible.

Frequent lightning and gusty winds will also accompany stronger storms.

Those who have to be outside, should take stay hydrated and look for signs of heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

“Summer is such a fun time of year, but it is also dangerous because people can quickly become overheated,” said Dr. Mark Griffin, Emergency Medicine physician at Andalusia Health. “We really encourage our patients to know the signs and symptoms of heat-related illness. If people know what to watch for, they can catch potential problems earlier and start cooling the body down before any serious complications occur.”

As noted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), muscle cramping – or heat cramps – is often the first sign of heat-related illness and may lead to a more serious condition, such as heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Below are other important signs and symptoms, actions to take if you or someone you encounter is experiencing a heat-related illness, and tips to help you beat the heat.


Heat Exhaustion

Heat exhaustion occurs when the body loses an excessive amount of water and salt and is unable to cool itself. If left untreated, heat exhaustion could lead to heat stroke, which is why it is important to know the signs and symptoms. They are:

• Headache

• Nausea

• Dizziness

• Weakness

• Irritability

• Thirst

• Heavy sweating

• Elevated body temperatures

• Decreased urine output


Heat Stroke

Heat stroke is the most severe heat-related illness, requiring immediate medical attention. Heat stroke occurs when the body has lost excessive water and salt, and has become overwhelmed by the heat. Signs and symptoms include:

• Confusion, altered mental status or slurred speech

• Loss of consciousness

• Hot, dry skin or profuse sweating

• Seizures

• Very high body temperatures

Heat stroke can be fatal if treatment is delayed. If you or someone you encounter is experiencing a heat-induced illness, you should:

• Call 9-1-1 immediately.

• Stay with the person until emergency medical services arrive.

• Move the person to a shaded, cool area and remove any heavy or excess clothing.

• Cool the person down quickly with cold water or an ice bath, or by placing cold wet cloths or ice on the head, neck, armpits or groin.

• Circulate the air around the person to speed cooling.