The best advice for people today is stay inside if they can. Those without air conditioners should find a cool place to stay, and if you must go outside — especially if you are working — drink plenty of water, said Bulloch County Public Safety Director Ted Wynn.
Today will be a repeat of Monday — temperatures reaching or surpassing 100 degrees, plenty of humidity and sunshine, he said. The National Weather Service has issued a heat advisory for today, warning people of the dangers of high temperatures.
Savannah meteorologist Pat Prokop said Monday saw a record high of 101 degrees in Savannah – breaking the 1921 record of 100 degrees on the same date.
And it doesn’t look like there will be any real relief soon.
National Weather Service meteorologist Steve Rowley said temperatures may “cool” down to the mid to low 90s over the weekend or early next week, but a high pressure system is holding the extreme heat over the southeastern area and stalling the sea breezes.
The remnants of a cold front — which in no way means there will be cold weather — may possibly bring some thunderstorms this week, slaking the dry earth’s thirst and helping crops while cooling things down a degree or two — but there will be no major change this week, he said.
According to the National Weather Service website, www.noaa.gov, the humidity will be around 70 to 75 percent today. Paired with temperatures in the hundreds, the equation could prove dangerous, said Dr. Christopher Munger with East Georgia Regional Medical Center.
People cool down by sweating, but when the body overheats and the humidity is 75 percent or more, the combination shuts down the body’s cooling system, he said. The body’s temperature slowly builds, and can lead to heat stroke, heat exhaustion or other heat-related illnesses.
Munger said doctors have seen about 15 heat-related cases this week at the hospital. One patient, who suffered from health challenges and had no air conditioner, passed out in his home and was admitted to the hospital for heat stroke, he said.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, www.cdc.gov, people over 65, overweight, with heart disease, high blood pressure or taking medicines that are heat-reactive are most at risk for higher temperatures.
Symptoms of a heat stroke include hot dry skin, no sweating, hallucinations, chills, throbbing headache, high body temperatures, confusion and dizziness and slurred speech, according to the CDC.
Heat exhaustion symptoms include heavy sweating, weakness, fatigue, dizziness and confusion, nausea, clammy skin, pale or flushed, muscle cramps, elevated body temperatures, any fast/shallow breathing.
Wynn said cooling a person with these symptoms needs to be done immediately, and hydration with electrolyte drinks or water is best. Avoid caffeine, alcohol or sugary drinks.
Preventative measures if you must be in the heat are to wear loose, light clothing, drink plenty of fluids, not waiting until you are thirsty; pace yourself, take frequent breaks and find shade or a cool spot.
But, if you absolutely do not have to be in the heat, don’t be, he said.
Wynn also reminded citizens to check on elderly and other friends and neighbors who may not have air conditioning; make sure pets have plenty of water and shade; and never leave an animal or child in a vehicle, even with the windows down.