Excessive Heat may cause heat related illnesses
Summer Time is Here Along with Heat Advisories
Summer in Montana brings high temperatures and dry weather. High temperatures can be a dangerous risk. The National Weather Service may use key terms during these high heat periods, knowing these key terms and what they mean can help protect against the potentially dangerous health risks that accompanies high heat. These may include:
Excessive Heat Warning—Take Action! An Excessive Heat Warning is issued within 12 hours of the onset of extremely dangerous heat conditions. The general rule of thumb for this Warning is when the maximum heat index temperature is expected to be 105° or higher for at least 2 days and night time air temperatures will not drop below 75°; however, these criteria vary across the country, especially for areas not used to extreme heat conditions.
Excessive Heat Watches—Be Prepared! Heat watches are issued when conditions are favorable for an excessive heat event in the next 24 to 72 hours. A Watch is used when the risk of a heat wave has increased but its occurrence and timing is still uncertain.
Heat Advisory—Take Action! A Heat Advisory is issued within 12 hours of the onset of extremely dangerous heat conditions. The general rule of thumb for this Advisory is when the maximum heat index temperature is expected to be 100° or higher for at least 2 days, and night time air temperatures will not drop below 75°; however, these criteria vary across the country, especially for areas that are not used to dangerous heat conditions. Take precautions to avoid heat illness.
Excessive Heat Outlooks are issued when the potential exists for an excessive heat event in the next 3-7 days. An Outlook provides information to those who need considerable lead-time to prepare for the event.
Extreme Heat Can Cause Heat-Related Illnesses
Extreme heat may limit your body's ability to cool itself resulting in illness. It is important to know the symptoms of excessive heat exposure and the appropriate responses. Visit the National Weather Services Heat-Illness Page for more signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion or heat stroke at https://www.weather.gov/safety/heat-illness
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has information on Extreme Heat, along with warning signs, and how to protect against the effects of extreme heat at https://www.cdc.gov/disasters/extremeheat/warning.html
Common Sense Practices
Common sense is the best defense. Some easy tips to remember for heat safety are:
- Spend some time in air conditioning, if possible.
- Drink plenty of water and natural juices, even if you don't feel thirsty.
- Slow down. Avoid strenuous activity. If you must do strenuous activity, do it during the coolest part of the day.
- Wear loose-fitting, lightweight, light-colored clothing. Light colors will reflect away some of the sun's energy.
- Avoid going out in the blazing heat, if you can.
- If you must be out in the sun, use sunscreen and wear a wide-brimmed hat.
- Take cool baths or showers periodically, use cool wet towels.
- Do not leave children or pets in a closed vehicle, even for a few minutes. Temperatures inside a closed vehicle can reach 140 to 190 within 30 minutes on a hot day.
- Make sure pets have plenty of shade and water to drink.