Unless you have been hiding under a rock – possibly hunting for shade – you probably already know there is a heat wave headed Portsmouth’s way.
According to the National Weather Service in Wilmington, which serves the Portsmouth area, an Excessive Heat Watch will be in effect Friday afternoon through Saturday evening.
The weather service states heat index values – that is, what the temperature actually feels like on your skin – could reach near or above 105 due to temperatures in the mid-90s and dew points in the mid-70s.
You might take some solace in knowing Portsmouth residents will not be baking alone over the next few days. Again, according to the weather service, a widespread summer heat wave is expected through this upcoming weekend across much of the Central and Eastern U.S. A large dome of high pressure will allow high temperatures to surge into the 90s and 100s in many locations, while heat indices will top 100 and approach 110 degrees or higher. There also will be no relief at night, as low temperatures remain in the upper 70s and 80s.
According to the website weatherspark.com, humidity comfort levels are based on the dew point, as it determines whether perspiration will evaporate from the skin, thereby cooling the body. Lower dew points feel drier and higher dew points feel more humid. Unlike temperature, which typically varies significantly between night and day, dew point tends to change more slowly, so while the temperature may drop at night, a muggy day is typically followed by a muggy night.
Portsmouth can experience what the website defines as “muggy weather” from late May through late September. The so-called muggiest day of the year is given as July 20, which this year arrives Friday. On Saturday, the longest day of the year arrives, bringing with it 14 hours and 53 minutes of daylight
Just for information’s sake, the least muggy day of the year arrives in December as does the shortest day.
The weather service predicts impacts of the coming heatwave could include heat stroke, heat exhaustion and other heat related illnesses, especially if you spend a significant amount of time outdoors or are involved in any strenuous outdoor activity. The weather service advises persons should plan to spend more time in air conditioned or well-ventilated places. If possible, reschedule strenuous outdoor activities to early morning or evening. Wear light weight and loose-fitting clothing and drink plenty of water.
To reduce risk during outdoor work the Occupational Safety and Health Administration recommends scheduling frequent rest breaks in shaded or air-conditioned environments. Anyone overcome by heat should be moved to a cool and shaded location. Consider heat stroke an emergency and call 911 as soon as possible.
According to the website, WebMD, signs of heat stroke can include dizziness or vertigo, fatigue, nausea and vomiting, headache, extreme sweating, flushed or dry skin or a rapid heart rate among other symptoms.
For those in need, the local Salvation Army announced plans to open a cooling station in their front lobby 1-4 p.m., Friday. The Salvation Army is located at 1001 Ninth St., Portsmouth.
Reach Tom Corrigan at (740) 370- 0715. © 2019 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved.Reach