June 19, 2008

Sizzle Certain to Stay: Triple-Digit Temps Cook Central Texas

By Ashley Landis, San Marcos Daily Record, Texas

Jun. 19--SAN MARCOS -- Even the wettest month of the year has turned up pretty dry -- and hot.

With little to no rainfall, June looks to be a scorcher.

The first month of summer is traditionally one of the soggiest in San Marcos, said Paul Yura of the National Weather Service, and temperatures don't usually soar to triple digits until later in the summer.

"Normally, no, it shouldn't be this hot," he said.

Temperature gauges at the San Marcos Airport officially recorded higher than 100 degree temperatures three days this month, but every day except for the June 5 and the June 6 has been 99 degrees or higher.

"It really got kind of hot the third week of May," Yura said, when a high pressure ridge settled in the upper levels of the atmosphere over Texas.

Rain storms could pop up here and there in Central Texas, but Yura said widespread rainfall doesn't look likely over the next few weeks.

"It looks to be staying that way for a while," he said.

Heat advisories have yet to be registered for Hays County. "The humidity has been low enough that we haven't been in the danger zone," Yura said.

A burn ban, however, is in effect.

Health officials suggest people to take extra precautions because of the heat. Tips from the Department of State Health Services include:

--Never leave anyone in a closed, parked vehicle in hot weather, even for a short time.

--Drink plenty of fluids, but avoid drinks with alcohol, caffeine or a lot of sugar. Don't wait until you are thirsty. Start drinking fluids at least 30 minutes before going out.

--Plan strenuous outdoor activities for early morning or evening when it's cooler.

--Take frequent breaks when working outside.

--At the first signs of heat illness -- dizziness, heavy sweating, nausea, headaches, muscle cramps -- move to a cooler location, rest a few minutes and slowly drink a cool liquid. Seek medical attention immediately if conditions do not improve.

--Eat more frequently, but be sure meals are well balanced, cool and light.

--Check frequently on the elderly, the ill and others who may need help.

--Adjust to the environment. A sudden change in temperature -- an early heat wave or travel to a hotter climate -- will be stressful to the body. Limit physical activity until you become accustomed to the heat.

--Check with a doctor or pharmacist about the effects of sun and heat when taking prescription medications, especially diuretics or antihistamines.


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