High heat, hu­mid­ity sti­fle NWA

Com­ing ‘cool down’ will pro­vide a break from triple dig­its

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - NORTHWEST ARKANSAS - STACY RYBURN

The summer’s first heat ad­vi­sory came Thurs­day and will con­tinue into the week­end.

A heat in­dex reach­ing triple dig­its will last un­til at least Satur­day evening in North­west Arkansas. Clouds likely will cover the re­gion Sun­day af­ter­noon, but the high tem­per­a­ture still will reach the low 90s.

Mon­day will see a “cool down” with an 87-de­gree high.

“It looks like it’ll be a respite, I guess I would say, a break in the heat and hu­mid­ity on Sun­day and Mon­day,” said me­te­o­rol­o­gist Sarah Cor­fidi with the Na­tional Weather Ser­vice in Tulsa, Okla. “Wed­nes­day we’ve got highs back in the lower 90s for Arkansas.”

Ke­nadie Kest­ner, 18, and Ona Clark, 17, both of Elkins, didn’t need a memo to know what to do in the heat. The two woke up early for vol­ley­ball prac­tice and later headed to the Shave the World snow cone stand on North Col­lege Av­enue in Fayet­teville.

That first blast of sti­fling air in the morn­ing took Kest­ner by sur­prise.

“I said ‘Holy cow, it’s hot out,’” she said, as her shaved ice melted in its cup.

The two usu­ally go swim­ming when the mer­cury hits near triple dig­its. Clark serves as a life­guard at Wil­son Park and said not ev­ery­one shares that sen­ti­ment.

“There are ac­tu­ally a lot more people when it’s not so hot,” she said. “When­ever it’s hot, it’s al­most mis­er­able to be out. Our wa­ter gets hot.”

The heat ad­vi­sory en­velopes Arkansas and eastern Ok­la­homa. Tem­per­a­tures in the mid 90s to near 100, com­bined with high hu­mid­ity, will create dan­ger­ous heat in­dex val­ues reach­ing 105 to 110 de­grees in some ar­eas. Night­time will pro­vide lit­tle re­lief, es­pe­cially in ur­ban ar­eas, ac­cord­ing to the Na­tional Weather Ser­vice.

Fayet­teville Fire Chief David Dayringer said city and county of­fi­cials have their own heat emer­gency plans if am­bu­lances re­spond to more than three heat-re­lated calls in a day or if a heat ad­vi­sory lasts three days or more. Of­fi­cials try to flood so­cial me­dia and lo­cal me­dia out­lets with in­for­ma­tion on how to stay safe and where to seek refuge.

Cool­ing sta­tions in­clude the Yvonne Richard­son Cen­ter, Se­nior Ac­tiv­ity Cen­ter and the li­brary in Fayet­teville. Spring­dale res­i­dents can go to pub­lic places such as the se­nior cen­ter or youth cen­ter.

Ben­ton County doesn’t des­ig­nate of­fi­cial cool­ing sta­tions but ad­vises res­i­dents to seek air con­di­tion­ing in pub­lic spa­ces such as li­braries, stores and com­mu­nity cen­ters, spokes­woman Chan­ning Barker said. Res­i­dents should stay mind­ful of the signs of heat ex­haus­tion, which can in­clude dizzi­ness, headache, fa­tigue, nau­sea and mus­cle cramps.

“We en­cour­age ev­ery­one to use cau­tion, es­pe­cially if they work or spend time out­side,” she said. “Even if they’re go­ing out to the lake or do­ing yard work we en­cour­age people to re­serve stren­u­ous ac­tiv­i­ties to early morn­ing or late evening.”

The high tem­per­a­ture at the Fayet­teville air­port Thurs­day was 92. The re­gional air­port in High­fill recorded a 94-de­gree high. The heat in­dex reached 102 at both lo­ca­tions.

Other parts of the state didn’t fare as well. Con­way and Cam­den reached 99 de­grees, the high­est marks in the state so far this year. Fort Smith, Batesville and Wal­nut Ridge all saw highs of 97 de­grees, and Hot Springs reached 96 de­grees.

Arkansas’ heat is the re­sult of a ridge of high pres­sure ridge stalled over eastern Ok­la­homa and Texas. The ridge, which also was re­spon­si­ble for wild­fires in Cal­i­for­nia and Ne­vada, blocks rain-pro­duc­ing sys­tems from form­ing over the state and in­stead de­flects them.

Heat kills more people ev­ery year than any other type of weather, ac­cord­ing to the Na­tional Weather Ser­vice. Floods, tor­na­does, light­ning and hur­ri­canes fall far be­hind.

The Fayet­teville Se­nior Cen­ter brings fans to the about 200 res­i­dents en­listed in its Meals on Wheels pro­gram. Low-in­come folks tend not to want to run their air con­di­tion­ing all day or don’t have it at all, said Cayla Wil­son, the cen­ter’s di­rec­tor.

The cen­ter al­ways will ac­cept new fans to take to res­i­dents who need them the most.

“It’s just the mak­ings of a bad sit­u­a­tion. We see the gamut when it comes to the se­nior pop­u­la­tion who needs help,” Wil­son said. “There’s a lot of them out there and I don’t think people are re­ally aware of our se­niors who live in im­pov­er­ished ar­eas of the city.”

NWA Demo­crat-Gazette/FLIP PUTTHOFF

Ar­turo Tor­res works Thurs­day near the Horse­barn Trail­head in Rogers on the Trail of Two Cities, a pedes­trian and bike path be­tween Rogers and Ben­tonville. The trail runs east from the Horse­barn Trail­head in Rogers to South­west I Street in Ben­tonville.

NWA Demo­crat-Gazette/DAVID GOTTSCHALK

Lau­ren Vrem (left) and Sarah Sykes, both of Kansas City, Mo., drink wa­ter Thurs­day in the shade on the down­town square in Fayet­teville. The two were cool­ing off be­fore go­ing on a hike on the trails at Mount Kessler.

NWA Demo­crat-Gazette/FLIP PUTTHOFF

Roberto Este­vane cuts re-bar Thurs­day near the Horse­barn Trail­head in Rogers on the Trail of Two Cities, a pedes­trian and bike path be­tween Rogers and Ben­tonville. The trail me­an­ders west from the Horse­barn Trail­head in Rogers to South­west I Street in Ben­tonville.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.