Heat and humidity making for an uncomfortable summer

Children playing in the splash pad at Pease Park on June 15, 2016, the hottest day thus far of 2016. (KXAN Photo/Chris Sadeghi)
Children playing in the splash pad at Pease Park on June 15, 2016, the hottest day thus far of 2016. (KXAN Photo/Chris Sadeghi)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — After a wet and stormy spring, summer is here (officially this coming Monday). The National Weather Service has issued a heat advisory which will likely continue for several days after the heat index in Central Texas reached 105 on Wednesday—making it the hottest day of the year so far. Adding to the heat, the recent run of rain is making for humid conditions which could lead to an uncomfortable summer.

“We call it ‘air you can wear,'” said Alex Garcia, the chairman of the American Meteorological Society’s Broadcaster’s Conference taking place in Austin this week. “As a result, you cannot perspire and if you cannot perspire, you overheat.”

Austin-Travis County EMS said they have averaged five calls a day this week for people needing help after getting overwhelmed by the heat.

Garcia said the heat index number is one people should pay attention to if they plan on being outside during the day. “When it gets 105, 106, you are in serious territory.”

Deborah Wells and her children spent much of their day outside, however, it was at the Pease Park splash pad where they could have fun and stay cool.

“I like to get my outings and everything done before 1 p.m. so we can go home and be inside and cool down,” said Wells.

Austin/Travis County Health and Human Services Department also offered the following tips for staying safe in the heat:

  • Stay in shaded areas and avoid the sun.
  • Wear light clothing and a hat.
  • Never leave another person or an animal in a closed, parked vehicle.
  • Drink plenty of fluids, especially water, but avoid beverages that contain alcohol, caffeine or a lot of sugar.
  • Take advantage of the cooling power of water. Fill buckets or basins and soak your feet. Wet towels and bandanas can have a cooling effect when placed on the shoulders or head. Take cool showers or baths, and consider using a spray bottle filled with cold water to cool off throughout the day.
  • Plan strenuous outdoor activities for early or late in the day when temperatures are lower.
  • Take frequent breaks when working outdoors.
  • If you are aware of elderly, more vulnerable people in your neighborhood check on them to see if they need additional assistance.Allow your pet to stay inside in air-conditioned comfort during the heat of the day. If that’s not possible, make sure your pet always has access to shade and plenty of fresh, cool water. Never leave an animal in a closed, parked vehicle.
  • At the first signs of heat illness (dizziness, nausea, headaches, muscle cramps), seek a cooler location, rest for a few minutes and slowly drink a cool beverage. Seek medical attention immediately if conditions do not improve.

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