From the chill that stuck with us throughout much of the month of April, to summer-like heat during the second week of May, we’ve had quite the extreme range in temperatures within just a few weeks. And with this week’s heat being the first taste of hot and humid weather, it’s important to remember heat safety because our bodies are not used to it yet.

High temperatures Monday afternoon reached the low 80s area wide thanks to an abundance of sunshine and strong southeast wind. Dew point temperatures also quickly warmed, surging into the mid 60s. This pushed the heat index in a couple of locations into the mid and upper 80s. You likely noticed a difference in the comfort level outside Monday. As dew point temperatures remain high (mid to upper 60s) over the next several days, heat index values reaching the low to mid 90s will be very likely, with the highest reading occurring Tuesday and Thursday.

During times of prolonged heat it’s important to remember to remain hydrated. This means drinking plenty of water and trying to avoid or limit drinks that have caffeine and alcohol. If you’re going to be outdoors for any prolonged period of time, remember to take frequent breaks indoors where there is air conditioning, or take time in the shade. Wear light weight, light colored clothing and try to limit activity during peak heating; between 10am and 4pm. The inside of your vehicle acts like a greenhouse, trapping heat inside causing the temperature to rise quickly and reaching very dangerous levels in just a short amount of time. NEVER leave pets or children unattended in a vehicle, even if for a short amount of time. Take extra care around the elderly and children, as well as those who do not have air conditioning.

And if you experience any of the symptoms above while out in the heat, seek shelter and get medical attention immediately!