An Excessive Heat Warning has been placed in effect for much of the D.C. area today as temperatures around 100 degrees and dew points in the 70s will make it feel like 110 degrees at times. This is very dangerous heat so try to stay indoors as much as possible today and drink plenty of fluids. Remember that heat is actually the number one weather-related killer in the United States so this is a very serious situation.
- Excessive Heat Watch in Magenta and Heat Advisory in Orange
Talking to some of the employees at the National Weather Service in Sterling, VA, I asked why Montgomery, Prince Georges, Howard and Anne Arundel weren't included and they told me it was because of slightly lower temperatures and dew points leading to lower heat index values.
- Heat Index Chart
The information below was taken directly from the NWS's Heat Safety webpage, which I urge you to take a look at.
"Studies indicate that, other things being equal, the severity of heat disorders tends to increase with age. Conditions that cause heat cramps in a 17-year-old may result in heat exhaustion in someone 40 years old, and in heat stroke in a person over 60. Sunburn, with its ultraviolet radiation burns, can significantly retard the skin's ability to shed excess heat. Acclimatization has to do with adjusting sweat-salt concentrations, among other things. The idea is to lose enough water to regulate body temperature, with the least possible chemical disturbance--salt depletion."
Know the Difference:
Heat Cramps - Painful spasms usually in the muscles of legs and abdomen with heavy sweating. First Aid: Firm pressure on cramping muscles or gentle massage to relieve spasm. Give sips of water. If nausea occurs, discontinue water.
Heat Exhaustion - Heavy sweating; weakness; cold, pale, clammy skin; thready pulse; fainting and vomiting but may have normal temperature. First Aid: Get victim out of sun. Once inside, the person should lay down and loosen his or her clothing. Apply cool, wet cloths. Fan or move victim to air conditioned room. Offer sips of water. If nausea occurs, discontinue water. If vomiting continues, seek immediate medical attention.
Heat Stroke - (or sunstroke): High body temperature (106° F or higher), hot dry skin, rapid and strong pulse, possible unconsciousness. First Aid: HEAT STROKE IS A SEVERE MEDICAL EMERGENCY. SUMMON EMERGENCY MEDICAL ASSISTANCE OR GET THE VICTIM TO A HOSPITAL IMMEDIATELY. DELAY CAN BE FATAL. While waiting for emergency assistance, move the victim to a cooler environment reduce body temperature with cold bath or sponging. Use extreme caution. Remove clothing, use fans and air conditioners. If temperature rises again, repeat process. Do NOT give fluids. Persons on salt restrictive diets should consult a physician before increasing their salt intake.