Tag Archives: Heat

Heat stroke warning: Four key moves if you’ve had too much sun

PHE’s Dr Owen Landeg warned: “The summer heat can bring real health risks.” Those most vulnerable to the extremely hot weather conditions include older people, those with underlying health conditions, and young children. Signs of too much sun include: a headache, dizziness and confusion, loss of appetite, nausea, and fast breathing – just to name a few. The NHS pointed out that heat exhaustion needs to be taken seriously.

If you do not cool down within 30 minutes, it has turned into heatstroke which is an “emergency”.

As soon as you notice signs of heat exhaustion in yourself, or others, there are four key moves you need to do.

Firstly, you need to move into a cool place in the shade – or guide the affected person into a shady spot.

Secondly, the person affected needs to lie down with their feet slightly raised.

READ MORE: Diabetes type 2: The signs in your feet you’ve had high blood sugar levels for ‘too long’

If heat exhaustion extends past 30 minutes, even after the cool-down approach, you need to call for an ambulance.

Signs of heatstroke include:

  • Feeling unwell after 30 minutes of resting in a cool place and drinking plenty of water
  • Not sweating even while feeling too hot
  • A high temperature of 40C or above
  • Fast breathing or shortness of breath
  • Feeling confused
  • A fit (seizure)
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Not responsive.

If the person affected loses consciousness while waiting for paramedics to arrive, they need to be put into the recovery position.

The recovery position

The recovery position is vital in keeping the unconscious person’s airways open and clear from any vomit or fluid that could cause them to choke.

When it comes to clothing, it’s better to wear light-coloured, loose clothing, and to sprinkle water over your skin and clothes.

In general, it’s best to avoid the sun between 11am and 3pm by being in the shade.

These measures will help to prevent dehydration and help to keep the body cool.

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This post originally posted here Daily Express :: Health
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New York eyeing cooperation with another Trump Org exec to ‘turn up the heat’ on Weisselberg: Florida prosecutor

On CNN Friday, Palm Beach County, Florida state attorney Dave Aronberg discussed how the efforts of New York prosecutors to get the cooperation of Trump Organization COO and former Trump bodyguard Matthew Calamari puts extra pressure on CFO Allen Weisselberg to try for a deal himself.

Weisselberg, despite being indicted along with the Trump Organization itself on tax charges, has so far shown no interest in cooperating against the organization, the former president, or his family.

“What does it tell you, Dave, that prosecutors are now trying to get Matthew Calamari … to cooperate?” asked anchor Wolf Blitzer.

“It definitely turns up the heat on Allen Weisselberg, who is out there on an island by himself,” said Aronberg. “The indictment of Weisselberg and the Trump Organization, Wolf, said there were two other employees who received substantial amounts of compensation in the form of lodging in New York City and car leases.”

Given that the Calimaris live in Trump apartment buildings, Aronberg continued, it seems natural that prosecutors would explore a cooperation agreement with them.

Watch below:

[embedded content]
Dave Aronberg says Matthew Calamari investigation could pressure Allen Weisselberg


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This post originally posted here usnews

As heat waves sweep across the western United States, wildfires in Northern California spread

heat waves sweep across the western United StatesSan Francisco (Associated Press)-As another heat wave hit the western United States this weekend, firefighters worked hard to contain the wildfires in Northern California that exploded in blazing temperatures, prompting overheating warnings in inland and desert areas.

On Friday, the temperature in Death Valley National Park in California reached a staggering 130 degrees Fahrenheit (54 degrees Celsius) and may reach the same high temperature on Saturday. If confirmed, the 130 degree reading will be the highest temperature recorded since July 1913, when the same furnace river desert area reached 134 degrees Fahrenheit (57 degrees Celsius), which is considered the highest temperature reliably measured on earth.

Beckwourth Complex-two lightning-caused fires burning 45 miles (72 kilometers) north of Lake Tahoe-after doubling in size between Friday and Saturday, from the Sierra Nevada forest area to the northeast The direction of the fire showed no signs of slowing down.

There have been several fires in the mountains of northern California, destroying more than ten houses. Although there were no confirmed reports of damage to the building, the fire prompted approximately 2,800 people to issue evacuation orders or warnings and also closed nearly 200 square miles (518 square kilometers) of Plumas National Forest.

Fire Information Officer Lisa Cox said that on Friday, the rising hot air formed a huge, smoky cumulus cloud thousands of feet high and produced its own lightning.

The on-site fire caused by embers jumped a mile (1.6 km) before the northeast side—too far for firefighters to fight safely—and the wind gathered the fire into dry fuel-filled trenches and canyons, There “it can actually speed things up,” Cox said. Flames reached 100 feet (31 meters) in some places, forcing firefighters to focus on building bulldozer production lines to protect houses.

Cox said that firefighters usually use cool, humid nights to extinguish fires, but the high temperature and low humidity never stop. More than 1,200 firefighters were assisted by the aircraft. But it is expected that the fire will continue to move forward.

She added that the air is very dry, and some of the water dropped by the plane evaporates before it reaches the ground.

“We expect more of the same things to happen the day after tomorrow, the day after tomorrow, and the day after tomorrow,” Cox said.

After fire officials made better observations, the fire was only controlled by 8%, and the fire increased sharply to 86 square miles (222 square kilometers).

This is one of several threatening homes in the western states. As the high-pressure zone covers the area, triple-digit high temperatures are expected throughout the weekend.

The National Weather Service warned that dangerous conditions could lead to heat-related diseases, and California’s grid operator issued a statewide Flex alert between 4pm and 9pm on Saturday to avoid interruptions and Power outages in turns.

The California independent system operator warned that the potential power shortage is not only due to high temperatures, but also because a wildfire in southern Oregon is threatening the transmission lines that carry imported power to California. Governor Gavin Newsom (Gavin Newsom) issued an emergency announcement on Friday, suspending regulations to allow more power capacity, and ISO requires other states to provide emergency assistance.

On Saturday, driven by strong winds, the size of the fire in Oregon doubled to 120 square miles (311 square kilometers) as it was in Fremont-Vine, near the town of Sprague River in Klamath County. Thick wood passes through the Ma National Forest.

NV Energy, the largest electricity supplier in Nevada, also urges customers to save electricity on Saturday and Sunday nights, as heat waves and wildfires affect transmission lines throughout the region.

In Southern California, a large rig in eastern San Diego County sparked a bushfire on Saturday, forcing the evacuation of two Native American reservations.

In north-central Arizona, Yavapai County on Saturday lifted its evacuation warning for the unincorporated town of Black Canyon City, 43 miles (66 kilometers) north of Phoenix, after fires in nearby mountains no longer pose a threat.

A wildfire in southeastern Washington spread to nearly 60 square miles (155 square kilometers) because it darkened grass and wood as it entered the Umatilla National Forest.

In Idaho, Governor Brad Little declared a wildfire emergency on Friday and mobilized the state’s National Guard to help extinguish fires caused by thunderstorms that swept through dry areas.

Firefighters in north-central Idaho are fighting three wildfires triggered by lightning, covering an area of ??62 square miles (160 square kilometers). In Dixie, a small remote community about 40 miles (64 kilometers) southeast of Grangeville, the fire threatened houses and forced people to evacuate.

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California battles wildfire as blazing heat hits western US

‘Record-breaking heat’ is expected to affect much of the west and southwest US over the weekend, weather centre warns.

Firefighters battled a surging wildfire in Northern California under blazing temperatures as another heat wave hits the Western United States this weekend, prompting an excessive heat warning for inland and desert areas.

California’s Death Valley National Park, about 177km (110 miles) west of Las Vegas in the neighbouring state of Nevada, registered a high of 54 Celsius (130 Fahrenheit) on Friday and was expected to reach the same temperature on Saturday.

If verified, the temperature reading would be the hottest high recorded there since July 1913, when the same Furnace Creek desert area hit 57C (134F), considered the highest reliably measured temperature on earth.

The Beckwourth Complex – two lightning-caused fires burning 72km (45 miles) north of Lake Tahoe – showed no sign of slowing its rush northeast from the Sierra Nevada forest region after doubling in size between Friday and Saturday.

Local newspaper The Mercury News reported that about 1,300 personnel were deployed on Saturday to stop the flames from reaching populated areas near the blaze, while some evacuations had been ordered.

Smoke envelops trees as the Sugar Fire, part of the Beckwourth Complex Fire, burns in Doyle, California, on Friday [Noah Berger/AP Photo]

The National Weather Service (NWS) Weather Prediction Center said on Twitter on Friday morning that “record-breaking heat” was expected to affect “much of the West and Southwest” during the weekend.

“Over 31 million people are currently under an Excessive Heat Warning or Heat Advisory. Highs well into the triple digits could threaten Las Vegas’ all-time high temperature record of 117F,” the centre said.

California’s northern mountain areas already have seen several large fires that have destroyed more than a dozen homes.

Although there are no confirmed reports of building damage, the fire prompted evacuation orders or warnings for roughly 2,800 people along with the closure of nearly 518 square kilometres (200 square miles) of Plumas National Forest.

The blazes come just weeks after the northwestern US and Canada’s west coast were hit by record temperatures late last month, prompting authorities in both countries to open cooling centres and urge residents to stay cool indoors.

The heat wave contributed to hundreds of deaths in the province of British Columbia alone, officials said.

Experts have said climate change is fuelling more extreme weather events, such as wildfires and heat waves – and some have urged US President Joe Biden to take up an ambitious, long-term strategy to reduce the risk of devastating wildfires.

The weekend’s potentially record temperatures on the US west coast come after the hottest June in 127 years of record-keeping, according to the National Oceanic and Atmosphere Administration (NOAA).

Eight states recorded their hottest June on record this year, while another six logged their second-hottest, the NOAA said.

Back in California, on Friday hot rising air formed a gigantic, smoky pyrocumulus cloud that reached thousands of feet high and created its own lightning, fire information officer Lisa Cox said.

Spot fires caused by embers leapt up to 1.6 kilometres ahead of the northeastern flank – too far for firefighters to safely battle – and winds funnelled the fire up draws and canyons full of dry fuel, where “it can actually pick up speed”, Cox said.

US Forest Service firefighters monitor the Sugar Fire burning in Plumas National Forest, California, on July 9 [Noah Berger/AP Photo]

Firefighters usually take advantage of cooler, more humid nights to advance on a fire, Cox said, but the heat and low humidity never let up.

The air was so dry that some of the water dropped by aircraft evaporated before reaching the ground, she added. “We’re expecting more of the same the day after and the day after and the day after,” Cox said.

The NWS’s Weather Prediction Center also said on Saturday that even if the temperatures do not break records, “the widespread, oppressive, and long-lasting heat remains a threat”.

Extreme heat and wildfires have caused literal firestorms across Canada

As things start to seemingly settle down weather-wise in some parts of the world, elsewhere, the weather is getting even more dangerous. In western Canada, wildfires have spread across the country, leading to some seriously dangerous weather—including what appears to be “firestorms.”

If boiling heat and drought weren’t enough, the fires brimming around the corners of the Pacific Northwest are contributing to a threatening storm system. When temperatures are hot enough, rising smoke from the fires can quickly accumulate into raging pyrocumulonibus clouds. These clouds then form thunderstorms, allowing lightning strikes to wreak even more havoc by brewing new fires. In some cases, you may even see “fire tornados.”

[Related: What is wet-bulb globe temperature]

NASA has nicknamed these horrifying events “fire-breathing dragon of clouds.” And while they happen more often than you’d think, including extreme recent examples in California last August and Australia in late 2019, some scientists are calling the Canadian firestorm the worst ever seen. 

“I’ve watched a lot of wildfire-associated pyroconvective events during the satellite era, and I think this might be the singularly most extreme I’ve ever seen,” Daniel Swain, a climate scientist at UCLA, tweeted on Wednesday. “This is a literal firestorm, producing *thousands* of lightning strikes and almost certainly countless new fires.”

[Related: Wildfires could hit your hometown. Here’s how to prepare.]

Between June 30 and July 1, there have already been 710,117 lightning strikes across British Columbia, a whopping five percent of Canada’s average yearly amount. The unbearable heat in one town in particular, which had been experiencing temperatures of 121 degrees Fahrenheit earlier this week (for reference, that’s four degrees higher than Las Vegas’ all-time record), forced the over 1,000 residents of Lytton, BC to evacuate on virtually no notice earlier this week. 

“The town burnt down,” Lytton Mayor Jan Polderman told Canadian news source CBC. “I noticed some white smoke at the south end of town, and within 15 to 20 minutes, the whole town was engulfed in flame.”

For many towns in fire zones, the conditions are on the precipice of some of the most wildfire-friendly conditions in recent history—thanks to increasingly dry weather, longer summers, leftover flammable trees and grasses from centuries of wildfire prevention strategies, and more people moving into risky areas. Wildfires and volcanic activity have killed around 2400 people directly over the past 20 years, but the lasting impact and indirect death count could be significantly higher even from just one event. 

Swain told Earther that these firestorms are also a nightmare for the atmosphere. Not only did the Australian bushfires warm the atmosphere for six months after the fact, but the forests currently burning in Canada store billions of tons of carbon dioxide that are at risk of being released. 

“I suspect it will get a lot worse,” Swain told Earther, “and it’s already quite bad.”

Sara Kiley Watson

Sara Kiley Watsonis an assistant editor at PopSci. Her work has also been featured in NPR and Business Insider. Contact the author here.

Author: Sara Kiley Watson
Read more here >>> Science – Popular Science

Are ‘heat days’ the new snow days?

North America has recently experienced one of its worst rounds of heatwaves in recorded history.  The droughts, heatwaves, and wildfires plaguing the US and Canada have led to increased hospitalizations and hundreds of deaths. Unlike the relatively known dangers of tropical storms or floods, heat is a silent killer. It’s one of the most dangerous weather-related events and researchers have found that heatwaves are not occurring more often and some are lasting longer. Some public health officials and researchers have proposed naming heatwaves like hurricanes in order to raise awareness of how dangerous extreme heat is for so many people—especially older people, those with weaker immune systems, and outdoor workers. 

“We need more drama for heatwaves and we think that a name is going to do that,” said Kathy Baughman-McLeod, director of the Adrienne Arsht–Rockefeller Foundation Resilience Center and a leader of Extreme Heat Resilience Alliance, told the CBC last year. “Naming tropical storms and hurricanes and cyclones has brought the awareness and the culture of prevention and preparation and resources to areas of the world that are plagued by hurricanes and cyclones.”

But just like school gets canceled for extreme storms and snow, another idea is giving workers and students “heat days.” Heat days would allow workers and students to stay home on days when temperatures and humidity are too much to reasonably handle—especially when temperatures are in the high 90s Fahrenheit or above. Having the option of heat days has been especially important for school districts in the North East and the Pacific Northwest, two areas that are not accustomed to extreme heat. School districts may now need to make urgent upgrades to their air conditioning and ventilation systems. 

Elena Naumova, a researcher with Tufts University, explained that there are pros and cons to implementing heat days—a one size fits all approach isn’t necessarily the right way to handle the future of hotter and longer heat waves in North America. 

“Having heat days and thinking about who will work and how we work makes perfect sense to me,” she said. “We have to think about people who work outside too, like construction workers and farmers. They can say ‘we can start earlier,’ and they will be fully compensated.” 

Jan Carney, a professor of medicine and associate dean for public health and health policy at The University of Vermont, also questions the efficacy of simply having heat days off as a solution for every workplace and school district. A step further, she says, would be widespread education and advice specific to a location’s heat-related needs that may be more effective in keeping people safe during heatwaves. 

[Related: Heat is the silent killer we should all be worried about.]

“If it is a school day, schools could be air-conditioned while homes may not be,” Carney says, “and this may vary from community to community. In locations with a denser number of buildings, called an urban heat island, this effect may be further magnified with these locations being even hotter.” Prep may be just as important as closing down classrooms—especially considering that not every household has access to air conditioning.

Carney also suggested a better alert for incoming heat. “In addition to heat watches and warnings/advisories, maybe we need to ramp this up even further. We have major alerts for crime, air pollution, and severe weather – should we add extreme heat to the list,” she said. 

Bringing the ever-increasing threat of warming weather to the classroom is also essential—Naumova suggests teaching children and their families about how extreme heat is linked to other climate issues. 

“Extreme heat never just comes and goes—it’s a precursor for other extreme events like storms and hail and drought and wildfires,” she said. “It has a cascading effect, it’s much harder to cope [with incoming weather events] when the community is already depleted by heat.” 

Naumova says any effort from researchers and public health officials to improve the outcomes after heat waves would have to be approached like other health crises. The pandemic outlined already existing disparities for low-income communities and communities of color. Just like COVID-19, addressing extreme heat would necessitate looking at job safety, income, equitable access to water, and equitable infrastructure that allows for ventilation and safe indoor air quality. 

“It’s not a simple solution made by one single person,” Naumova says. “Communities need to come together and make a decision.”

Author: Sara Kiley Watson
Read more here >>> Science – Popular Science

Unprecedented heat, hundreds dead and a town destroyed. This is the reality of climate change.

Lytton hit 49.6 degrees Celsius (121.3 degrees Fahrenheit), astounding for the town of just 250 people nestled in the mountains, where June maximum temperatures are usually around 25 degrees. This past week, however, its nights have been hotter than its days usually are, in a region where air conditioning is rare and homes are designed to retain heat.
Smoke rises from a fire at Long Loch and Derrickson Lake in Central Okanagan in Canada on June 30.
Now fires have turned much of Lytton to ash and forced its people, as well as hundreds around them, to flee.
Scientists have warned for decades that climate change will make heat waves more frequent and more intense. That is a reality now playing out in Canada, but also in many other parts of the northern hemisphere that are increasingly becoming uninhabitable.
Roads melted this week in America’s northwest, and residents in New York City were told not to use high-energy appliances, like washers and dryers — and painfully, even their air conditioners — for the sake of the power grid.
In Russia, Moscow reported its highest-ever June temperature of 34.8 degrees on June 23, and Siberian farmers are scrambling to save their crops from dying in an ongoing heat wave. Even in the Arctic Circle, temperatures soared into the 30s. The World Meteorological Organization is seeking to verify the highest-ever temperature north of the Arctic Circle since records there began, after a weather station in Siberia’s Verkhoyansk recorded a 38-degree day on June 20.
Visitors at Humayun's Tomb in New Delhi, India, on a hot day on June 30 amid a heatwave.
In India, tens of millions of people in the northwest were affected by heat waves. The Indian Meteorological Department on Wednesday classified the capital, New Delhi, and cities in its surrounds as experiencing “severe extreme heat,” with temperatures staying consistently in the 40s, more than 7 degrees higher than usual, it said. The heat, along with a late monsoon, is also making life difficult for farmers in areas like the state of Rajasthan.
And in Iraq, authorities announced a public holiday across several provinces for Thursday, including the capital Baghdad, because it was simply too hot to work or study, after temperatures surpassed 50 degrees and its electricity system collapsed.
Experts who spoke with CNN said it was difficult to pinpoint exactly how linked these weather events are, but it’s unlikely a coincidence that heat waves are hitting several parts of the northern hemisphere at the same time.
A man stands by fans spraying mist along a street in Iraq's capital, Baghdad, on June 30.
“The high pressure systems we’re seeing in Canada and the United States, all of these systems are driven by something called the jet stream — a band of very strong winds that sits way above our heads, at about 30,000 feet where the planes fly around,” Liz Bentley, Chief Executive at the UK’s Royal Meteorological Society, told CNN.
Bentley explained the configuration of the jet stream is preventing weather systems from moving efficiently along their normal west-to-east path.
“That jet stream has become wavy, and it’s got stuck in what we call an Omega block, because it’s got the shape of the Greek letter Omega, and when it gets in that, it doesn’t move anywhere, it blocks it,” Bentley said. “So the high pressure that’s been building just gets stuck for days or weeks on end, and these Omegas appear in different parts of the northern hemisphere.”
In the US, the same thing happened in mid-June in the Southwest, breaking records in Mexico and places like Phoenix in Arizona. A couple weeks later, a dome of high pressure built over the Northwest, toppling records in Washington, Oregon and southwest Canada.
“So we’ve seen these unprecedented temperatures — records being broken not just by a few degrees, being absolutely smashed,” Bentley said.

Scientist says this could happen every year by 2100

There is a growing acceptance among some political leaders that climate change is a driving force behind fueling many extreme weather events, particularly for heat waves and storms.
“Climate change is driving the dangerous confluence of extreme heat and prolonged drought,” US President Joe Biden said Wednesday. “We’re seeing wildfires of greater intensity that move with more speed and last well beyond traditional months, traditional months of the fire season.”
Scientists are working on sophisticated tools that can rapidly assess just how much climate change may have contributed to a particular weather event.
“We carried out a quick attribution study to get some fast answers to ‘What is the role of climate change?'” said UK Met Office meteorologist, Nikos Christidis, who has been developing simulations to carry out such analysis.
“We found that without human influence, it would be almost impossible to hit a new record and such a hot June in the region,” he said, referring to an area including those affected in Canada and the US.
Christidis said in the past, without human-caused climate change, extreme heat in the Northwest US or Southwest Canada would have occurred “once every tens of thousands of years.” Presently, it can occur every 15 years or so, Christidis said.
And if greenhouse gas emissions continue? Christidis said as often as every year or two by the turn of the century.
Several countries, including the US, United Kingdom and those in the European Union, recently increased their commitments — some by a long way — but many scientists and activists say they still don’t go far enough to keep global average temperatures within 1.5C above pre-industrial levels. World leaders pledged in the 2015 Paris Agreement to aim for this limit in order to stave off the more most catastrophic impacts of climate change.
Climate groups have also urged Canada to increase its commitments and wean itself off oil and gas.
“This is literally the deadliest weather on record for the US Pacific Northwest and far southwest Canada region. The losses and the despair as a result of the extreme heat and devastating fires in Canada are a reminder of what’s yet come as this climate crisis intensifies,” said Eddy Pérez, Climate Action Network Canada’s manager for international climate diplomacy.
“Canada is experiencing historic climate-induced losses and damages while at the same time not doing its fair share to combat dangerous climate change. As an oil and gas producer, Canada is still considering the expansion of fossil fuels which is directly attributed to the global temperature rise.”

Author: Angela Dewan, CNN
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Heat is the silent killer we should all be worried about

This post has been updated. It was originally published on May 4, 2021.

It begins when you stop sweating. Perspiration usually cools you down by releasing heat into the air as sweat evaporates, but eventually, if your body becomes dehydrated or the external mixture of hot air and humidity gets too high, you can no longer push the salty liquid through your pores. You flush all over as blood moves toward your skin—an attempt to shuttle warmth away from your core. Muscles cramp up as your salt reservoirs deplete. Organs swell as your body kicks up an immune response. Your thinking gets fuzzy. You might start hallucinating. You vomit so your stomach can stop wasting energy on digestion. Your heart pounds and your head aches. You may begin to have seizures.

When death finally comes, whether within the hour or a few days later, it’s in the form of a heart attack or organ failure. In the throes of heatstroke, your internal temperature may spike above 105°F, but if you’re alone—victims often are—you’ll have gone cold by the time someone finds you. It’s likely no one will know that the true killer was heat.

The human physique begins to fall apart when it gets too hot. “We have to maintain a very specific range of body temperatures,” says Shane Campbell-Staton, a Princeton University evolutionary biologist who studies the impact of extreme temps on people and animals. Most of us are comfortable when the air around us hovers between 68°F and 77°F, which allows us to maintain an internal thermostat somewhere around 98 degrees. When the environment pushes us past those limits, the delicate balance of chemical reactions that keep us alive starts to wobble, leading to cascades of negative effects that can very quickly become fatal.

[Related: 4 ways to keep cool when the temperature spikes]

Officially, only about 700 people in the US die from exposure to extreme heat per year, largely among vulnerable populations, like the unhoused and elderly, and people who spend long hours outside for work or sport. But scientists who study the links between weather and human health believe the actual number is much higher, says Scott Greene, a University of Oklahoma geographer who has been researching the subject since the 1990s. Exposure to extreme highs could be the culprit behind thousands of deaths in the United States each year and many more around the globe. It’s hard to say how many for certain, given that most of them go unrecorded. But whatever that grim tally is, we know one thing for sure: We can expect more in the years to come.

Without dramatic climate action in the near future, we will likely experience a sharp uptick in extreme heat events across the country by midcentury. That means a greater percentage of the population will deal with dangerous highs—according to the National Weather Service that’s triple digits, or anything in the 90s paired with 65 percent humidity or more.

Recent data from the Union of Concerned Scientists predicts that nearly 90 million people will experience 30 days or more of 105°F temperatures per year by 2050, compared to the fewer than 1 million who experienced such heat annually in the late 1900s. Those 30 scorchers will affect nearly one-third of American urban areas, predominantly in the Sunbelt and the southern Great Plains. Temperatures in the Northeast could exceed 90°F for up to 42 days a year, while some states in the Midwest can expect similar forecasts for more than 100 days a year. We can protect ourselves by changing our lifestyles to suit these climes, but public health experts say it will take a concerted effort from local, state, and national governments to edu­cate people on the dangers of heat, alert them when temperatures creep too high, and offer them solutions—like public access to AC and water.

Some of us are more vulnerable than others. The elderly generally don’t sweat or pump blood as efficiently as youngsters can, while children tend to perspire less and have greater surface-to-body-mass ratios. Certain medications, like antipsychotics and blood pressure pills, can throw internal thermostats out of whack. People without homes or access to air conditioning don’t have safe spaces in which to cool down, while construction workers and other laborers sometimes have no choice but to be outdoors, often during the hottest parts of the day.

[Related: These beautiful, terrifying maps show how hot we’ll get in 2090]

But anyone can succumb to rising temps. The National Weather Service’s heat index indicates that even temperatures in the 80s come with the risk of illness if you’re exposed for hours at a time and humidity is high, or if you’re engaged in strenuous outdoor activity like athletics. The risk goes up in lockstep with increasing airborne moisture and temperatures.

How likely a person is to die from exposure, however, remains somewhat opaque. That’s why Greene and others in his field examine how many people die in a given area during an unusually hot period, as opposed to just looking at those deaths that coroners or medical examiners code as related to hyperthermia. They search for what are known as “excess deaths”—fatalities that spike above the number typical for an area with the same demographics during that time of year. A similar analysis published by a different team in Environmental Epidemiology in 2020 suggests that heat is a direct or indirect cause of up to 10,000 fatalities in the United States each year—far higher than the official count. The circumstances are right for that number to keep going up, but the crisis is already at our door. Even based on official statistics, heat is already the leading weather-related killer in the country, ahead of winter storms, hurricanes, and flooding.

There’s still time, however, to prevent gruesome deaths. When Greene started researching this field in the 1990s, a stretch of fatally hot weather in the US—most notably, the 1995 Chicago heat wave that killed more than 700 people in five days—led cities across the country to start planning ahead. There hasn’t been sufficient research on such programs to quantify the exact benefits, according to the CDC, but what data we have is positive. The widespread adoption of warning systems to make residents aware of extreme temperatures and their health risks is one of the most important changes to come out of those efforts. An investigation of one such initiative in Philadelphia from 1995 to 1998, for example, found that the city’s interventions saved 117 lives in three years. The urban area’s accompanying response infrastructure also played an important role, Greene says. The media educated the public on the dangers of high temps, local utilities maintained services throughout the heat wave even in cases where payments were overdue, cooling centers offered access to shelter and water, and the city increased its staffing for emergency medical services. Greene and others are still working on tallying the exact impact of each of these mitigation efforts. Still, he says, it’s clear that simply making residents aware of the dangers can go a long way toward saving lives.

But hot spells that take locals by surprise remain a concern, especially in cities. A phenomenon called the urban heat island effect can raise temperatures in areas with lots of heat-holding concrete and a dearth of trees by several degrees compared to surrounding areas. That means densely packed metropolises can fall into the danger zone while folks in the suburbs feel fine.

And even though new warning systems and infrastructure have helped, there’s more work to do. “The main thing that separates us from the rest of the tree of life is our unique ability to buffer ourselves against extremes,” says Princeton’s Campbell-Staton.

To keep dropping the number of deaths, even as temperatures go up, city, county, state, and federal governments need to coordinate their responses, Greene says. He wants to see a more robust centralized national forecasting effort that predicts temperature spikes as far out as possible. With advance notice, cities could prepare by freeing up emergency funds and properly staffing infrastructure like ambulances and cooling centers. Such alerts could also clearly spell out what extreme heat might mean for a given locale: Just as an inch of snow is more of an emergency in Atlanta than it is in Boston due to baseline preparedness and local knowledge, you might not need a heat alert in Phoenix for the same temperatures as in Anchorage. These efforts could help raise the profile of extreme highs as an issue, Greene says, and save lives while they do. But for now, it’s important to realize just how many people are at risk—and how few of them know it.

Author: Rachel Feltman
Read more here >>> Science – Popular Science

Dry air wrapping around low in Gulf brings heat for Thursday

Dry air wrapping around low in Gulf

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) — Dry air wrapping around the low in the Gulf brings us hot and sunny weather for Thursday. Temperatures will start in the mid 70s then warm into the mid 90s on an easterly breeze. While we can’t rule out a stray shower or storm, your rain chance is less than 20%.

LIVE: Check live radar from ABC13

We are also monitoring the Gulf of Mexico for potential tropical development. Heavy rains wrapping around this low could reach the U.S. Gulf Coast by Friday.

READ MORE: Monitoring for potential tropical development late this week, development chances at 80%

WATCH: How to survive TX heat

Heat Advisory in effect until 7PM, still a small chance for a big storm

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) — This is the hottest feeling day so far in 2021.

The National Weather Service issued a Heat Advisory on Sunday until 7 p.m. for the following areas:

Montgomery, Northern Liberty, Colorado, Austin, Waller, Inland Harris, Chambers, Wharton, Fort Bend, Inland Jackson, Inland Matagorda, Inland Brazoria, Inland Galveston, Southern Liberty, Coastal Harris, Coastal Jackson, Coastal Matagorda, Coastal Brazoria, Coastal Galveston, Matagorda Islands, Brazoria Islands, Galveston Island, Bolivar Peninsula. Additionally, the cities of Conroe, The Woodlands, Liberty, Cleveland, Dayton, Columbus, Eagle Lake, Weimar, Sealy, Bellville, Hempstead, Prairie View, Brookshire, Waller, Houston, Winnie, Mont Belvieu, Anahuac, Stowell, Old River, Winfree, El Campo, Wharton, Missouri City, Mission Bend, Sugar Land, Rosenberg, First Colony, Pecan Grove, Edna, Ganado, Bay City, Pearland, Alvin, Angleton, League City, Friendswood, Devers, Pasadena, Baytown, Palacios, Lake Jackson, Freeport, Clute, Texas City, Dickinson, La Marque, Surfside Beach, and Galveston.

We’ll see highs reach the upper 90s with feels-like temps between 105-110 degrees area-wide. The good news is that we could see a few cooling downpours in the afternoon and early evening hours. We’re looking at a 30% chance of rain for Houston.

An Ozone Pollution Watch will also be in effect for Harris, Galveston, & Brazoria Counties on Sunday. Unhealthy levels of ozone will be possible especially in the afternoon.

We’re also monitoring the Gulf of Mexico for potential development.
READ MORE: Monitoring for potential tropical development late next week, development chances at 40%

WATCH: How to survive TX heat

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Any rain for the weekend?
A boundary moving to the south should be enough to spark a few scattered downpours Sunday afternoon / early evening. Some of those thunderstorms coming in from the northeast could turn severe with gusty winds and large hail. We are currently calling for a 30% chance of shower and thunderstorms.

How about next week?
As high pressure to our west drifts a bit more north and west we’ll bring back in enough moisture to the area for a few showers and storms through early next week.

Is it true that a tropical system could develop in the Gulf of Mexico next week?
Yes, it is possible low pressure will spin up in the western half of the Gulf next week, but it is way too early to know if we’ll get any impacts here should one form. You can stay aware and informed on what’s happening in the tropics by visiting abc13.com/tropicalupdate.

Southeast Texas
Harris County

Galveston County
Montgomery/Walker/San Jacinto/Polk/Grimes Counties
Fort Bend/Wharton/Colorado Counties
Brazoria/Matagorda Counties

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Author: KTRK

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