Extreme heat warning issued for region

Published 12:00 pm Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Residents across the Southern U.S. are cautioned to practice heat safety as much of the South is under a heat warning today through the weekend.

Afternoon temperatures across the region are expected to reach mid- to upper-90s and heat index values are expected to peak in the 105-110 degree range.

The Southwestern Mississippi area is under an excessive heat warning until 7 p.m. today.

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Heat index values are expected to continue in this range through Saturday.

The heat index is a measure of how hot it really feels when relative humidity is factored in with the actual air temperature. For example, if the air temperature is 96 degrees and relative humidity is 65%, the heat index is 121 degrees.

Heat stroke will be a significant concern with prolonged outdoor activity, NWS warns.

The National Weather Service suggests drinking plenty of water even if not thirsty; wearing sunscreen; wearing lightweight, loose-fitting and light-colored clothing; and only working outdoors in the early or late day, and only if necessary.

Though showers and thunderstorms are likely, with a 60% chance mainly after 3 p.m., heat warnings should still be taken seriously during this time.

The Midcontinent Independent System Operator’s region has notified utility companies to prepare for emergency conditions, according to Entergy reports, though a power shortage is not expected.

Extreme heat conditions may lead to increased power usage for air conditioning, leading to generating stations tripping, however. Residents are therefore asked to use appliances only as necessary throughout the heat warning period, such as using a microwave instead of an oven or stove, washing clothes only in the early morning or late evening, turning off the heat dry setting on dishwashers and only drying clothes overnight.

Cool showers or baths are recommended to help cool down. Check on friends and neighbors, especially those with known health problems or who are elderly. Never leave children or pets in vehicles — temperatures in a locked vehicle can reach temps higher than 140 degrees within minutes, according to weather.gov.