The temperatures and the humidity of the past few weeks have made “staying cool” a very real goal, even with the recent break in temperatures that began Sunday.
According to Kristen Cassidy, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service (NWS) Forecast Office in Wilmington, a cold front has brought a reprieve to the summer’s muggy weather.
However, she added, “The heat is certainly not over.”
Cassidy added, “We do see signs that more summer-like heat will return.”
According to the extended outlook, the next several weeks will maintain a normal or slightly above normal pattern for this time of the year. But, Cassidy said, as the fall season approaches, those normal temperatures will begin to decrease as well.
She also said that in comparison with previous years, this summer “has been a little bit warmer,” but that higher humidity than average has caused the past weeks to feel even warmer than it actually is.
The beginning of August, she said, was “quite a bit warmer, especially compared to … early July.”
In summary, Cassidy said that the second half of July and the first half of August saw a stretch of abnormal temperatures.
Temperatures may be comfortable for a few days, but as thousands of local residents can attest, the annual Highland County Fair, kicking off Sept. 3, occurs during what has often turned out to be one of the hottest weeks of the year.
And so, with summer heat still a possibility, the Highland County Health Department offers some tips for staying cool.
Health Commissioner Jared Warner said an in email that the elderly and very young are more susceptible to heat-related illnesses. Also more at risk, he said, are “those with certain heart and lung illnesses and those taking certain medications such as beta blockers.”
Warner said that strenuous activity should be avoided during times of excessive heat. He also recommended drinking plenty of fluids; wearing light-colored, loose-fitting clothes; and wearing a heat.
He said that the two most common temperature-related illnesses are heat exhaustion and heat stroke.
Warner outlined the symptoms of heat exhaustion, which are profuse sweating, nausea, headache, and dizziness.
One sign of a heat stroke includes a dramatic increase in body temperature. Additional symptoms “mimic other medical conditions such as a heart attack,” Warner said.
He added, “Heat strokes are by far the most serious of heat illnesses because they can be fatal in some instances. Seek immediate medical attention if you experience any of these symptoms.”
Above all, Warner said, “If there is any type of heat advisory or excessive temperatures, stay inside and stay cool.”
As for the remainder of this week, already forecasters are predicting climbing temperatures, with a high on Wednesday of around 86, and then close to 90 on Thursday before dropping a few degrees into the mid-80s on Friday and Saturday.
Forecasters say skies should be dry for the next few days.