Temperatures to rise into triple digits across portions of Mississippi, but at least it will be a ‘dry heat’

Published 8:43 am Thursday, September 5, 2019

Just when it seemed cooler temperatures may be just over the horizon, Mississippi is going back into the furnace.

An area of high pressure is forecast to move over the state this weekend and settling in for next week, bringing high temperatures and no rainfall, said Anna Wolverton, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service Office in Jackson.

“Going into this weekend, high temperatures will be 99 to 100 degrees, and heat indexes will be topping out between 100 and 105,” Wolverton said.

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The high-pressure system, she said, will be a dry air mass, meaning low humidity.

“It will be kind of a dry heat and therefore heat indexes won’t be that high, but still hot enough,” Wolverton said, adding temperatures for the next week will be in the upper 90s with dry heat.

And that means people will have to continue being concerned about heat-related illness.

Kim Kilpatrick, nurse practitioner at the Merit Health Medical Group clinic on Mission 66 in Vicksburg, recommends that if at all possible, prolonged exposure to high temperatures should be avoided or frequent rest breaks taken when avoidance is not an option.

“Drinking lots of fluids and maintaining hydration is vital in reducing the frequency and severity of the more significant forms of heat illness,” she said.

Kilpatrick said those who are most at risk for classic heatstroke, such as the elderly and chronically ill, should be monitored to assure they are getting enough fluids and that they are in a safe and climate-controlled environment.

According to the medical website WebMD, the symptoms of heatstroke include:

Throbbing headache
Dizziness and light-headedness
Lack of sweating despite the heat
Red, hot, and dry skin
Muscle weakness or cramps
Nausea and vomiting
Rapid heartbeat, which might be either strong or weak
Rapid, shallow breathing
Behavioral changes such as confusion, disorientation, or staggering

If a person is suspected to have heatstroke, immediately call 911 or take them to a hospital. Any delay seeking medical help can be fatal.

While waiting for the paramedics to arrive, initiate first aid. Move the person to an air-conditioned environment — or at least a cool, shady area — and remove any unnecessary clothing.

If possible, take the person’s core body temperature and initiate first aid to cool it to 101 to 102 degrees Fahrenheit. If no thermometers are available, don’t hesitate to initiate first aid.