Yuma Sun

Excessive heat watch in effect until Sunday

NWS predicts dangerous, near record-breaking temperatur­es

- BY SISKO J. STARGAZER Sun STAFF WRITER Sisko J. Stargazer can be reached at 928-539-6849 or sstargazer@yumasun.com.

The National Weather Service has issued an excessive heat watch for Thursday, June 9, through Sunday, June 12, in Yuma and other parts of Arizona.

According to the NWS, this type of watch means that a period of very hot temperatur­es, even by local standards, will occur, and actions should be taken to lessen the impact of the extreme heat.

Per NWS Meteorolog­ist Marvin Percha, Yuma typically sees highs of 102°F and lows of 73°F at this time of year, but the high for the duration of this watch is 113°F on Saturday and Sunday. Although it doesn’t break Yuma’s records of 115°F-117°F, it comes quite close to it.

The reason for this increased heat is essentiall­y the high pressure from a heat dome moving overhead.

“We have a strong ridge of high pressure,” Percha explained. “Basically a warm dome moving over the region from the west and high pressure aloft tends to compress the air downwards. So just like a bicycle pump when you compress it, it gets hotter in the air. As you compress the air inside that, it gets hotter and the same thing is going to happen in this case, and as a result, you can see temperatur­es getting well above normal.”

So what should Yumans do to protect themselves from the heat? Percha recommends staying hydrated and limiting time spent outside in the heat.

“The best thing to do if you have to go outside is to combine any outdoor activity to the cooler parts of the day, such as the early morning or evening hours,” he said. “Make sure you keep yourself well hydrated and if you have to go out there, try to take breaks and spend as much time in air conditioni­ng as possible. Check in on your loved ones and also your pets to make sure they get plenty of water and stay cool as well.”

Additional recommenda­tions from the NWS note to avoid dehydratin­g alcoholic, sugary or caffeinate­d drinks. Lightweigh­t and light-colored clothing will be most appropriat­e for the heat. Eating small meals and more often throughout the day is also recommende­d. The NWS also reminds individual­s to never leave kids or pets unattended in cars.

Another important note will be to recognize the signs and symptoms of heat-related illness. According to the NWS, early signs include thirst and muscle cramps while heat exhaustion may also include cool, moist, pale skin; headache; dizziness; weakness or exhaustion; and nausea.

The most serious illness to watch out for is heat stroke as it can be deadly. Watch for signs of vomiting; confusion; throbbing headache; decreased alertness or loss of consciousn­ess; high body temperatur­e above 105°F; hot, dry skin; rapid, weak pulse; rapid, shallow breathing; and seizures. If heat stroke is suspected, treat as an emergency and call 911.

To monitor NWS forecasts, visit https://www.weather.gov/psr/.

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