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NWS: Excessive Heat Warning For RI

[CREDIT: NWS.gov] The National Weather Service has issued an excessive heat warning for the area.

[CREDIT: NWS.gov] The National Weather Service has issued an excessive heat warning for the area.
[CREDIT: NWS.gov] The National Weather Service has issued an excessive heat warning for the area.
[CREDIT: NWS.gov] The National Weather Service has issued an excessive heat warning for RI, and offers a number of hot weather tips.
[CREDIT: NWS.gov] The National Weather Service has issued an excessive heat warning for RI, and offers a number of hot weather tips.
NORTON,  MA — The National Weather Service has issued  an excessive heat warning for Rhode Island till 8 p.m., with a predicted high temp of 94 degrees, with a heat index of up to 105 degrees.

The heat index indicates what the weather will feel like to the average person as a result of the combined effects of the temperature and humidity of the air.

The warning is also in effect for Bristol and Plymouth Counties in southeastern Massachusetts.

Severe Thunderstorms Possible Today

A few strong to severe thunderstorms will also be possible today, mainly between 2 to 10 p.m.. The main threats are damaging winds and downpours, with a lower risk for hail, according to the NWS.

Showers and thunderstorms are likely, mainly after 4 p.m. Some of the storms could produce gusty winds and heavy rain. There will be a Southwest wind 9 to 11 mph, with gusts as high as 22 mph, and a 66 percent chance of rain. New rainfall amounts of less than a tenth of an inch are expected, with higher amounts possible in thunderstorms.
Tonight
Showers and thunderstorms likely before 3 a.m., then a slight chance of showers between 3 and 5 a.m. Some of the storms could produce small hail, gusty winds, and heavy rain. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 72. West wind 5 to 7 mph, with a 60 percent chance of rain. New rainfall amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch are expected, again, with higher amounts possible in thunderstorms.

Tips: Beat the heat

To limit the risk of falling victim to the heat, the NWS and the RI Department of Health recommend:

  • When possible reschedule strenuous activities to early morning or evening. Drink more fluids than usual, and don’t wait until you are thirsty to drink more fluids. Avoid alcohol or liquids that contain high amounts of sugar.
  • Check on friends and neighbors, particularly older adults and those who are caring for young children.
  • Stay in air-conditioned buildings as much as possible. If you don’t have air conditioning at home, see the Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency (RIEMA)’s list of municipal cooling centers in Rhode Island.
  • Wear lightweight, light-colored clothing. Add a hat if you must be outside.
  • Limit outdoor activities, especially at mid-day. If you exercise outdoors, move your workout to a morning or evening time.
  • If you work outside, wear sunscreen, pace your activity, stay hydrated, and check on co-workers.
  • Take cool showers or baths to cool down, particularly if you’re unable to be in an air-conditioned location.
  • Avoid turning on your oven, if possible. It will make your house hotter.
  • Never leave young children or pets in parked cars, even with the windows down.
  • If you have special healthcare needs, consider enrolling in the Rhode Island Special Needs Emergency Registry (RISNER). Enrolling in RISNER lets police, fire, and other first responders in your community better prepare for and respond to your needs during an emergency. When enrolling in the registry, a person provides information about their healthcare needs (for example, information about mobility issues, information about a visual or hearing impairment, information about the use of a life support system, such as a respirator). For more information or to enroll, visit health.ri.gov/emregistry or call 211/RI Relay 711.
  • When possible, reschedule strenuous activities to early morning or evening.
  • Wear light-weight and loose fitting clothing.
  • During outdoor work, take frequent  breaks in shaded or air-conditioned environments.
  • Anyone overcome by heat should be moved to a cool and shaded location. Heat stroke is an emergency, call 911.

Know the signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke

Heat Exhaustion symptoms include heavy sweating; weakness; cold, pale, or clammy skin; a fast or weak pulse; nausea or vomiting; and fainting.

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Move to a cooler location, lie down, loosen clothing, sip water, and apply cool, wet cloths to help cool the body down. Seek medical attention if vomiting begins, or if symptoms get worse or last longer than one hour.

Heat Stroke symptoms include high body temperature (above 103 degrees F) combined with hot, red, dry, or moist skin; rapid and strong pulse; confusion; and loss of consciousness.

Heat stroke is a medical emergency. 911 should be called immediately. Individuals experiencing heat stroke symptoms should also be moved to a cooler environment. Apply cool cloths or place the person into a cool bath to lower body temperature. Fans and ice packs can also be used to cool someone. Ice packs should be placed on the neck, under the armpit, or in the groin area (because these are the areas where large arteries are closest to the surface of the skin).

Working in the heat? Here’s an app for that.

When you’re working in the heat, safety is a life saver. The free OSHA-NIOSH Heat Safety Tool, available for Android and Iphone, offers safety information available  on your mobile phone.

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The App allows workers and supervisors to calculate the heat index for their worksite, and, based on the heat index, displays a risk level to outdoor workers. Then, with a simple “click,” you can get reminders about the protective measures that should be taken at that risk level to protect workers from heat-related illness-reminders about drinking enough fluids, scheduling rest breaks, planning for and knowing what to do in an emergency, adjusting work operations, gradually building up the workload for new workers, training on heat illness signs and symptoms, and monitoring each other for signs and symptoms of heat-related illness.

Rob Borkowski
Author: Rob Borkowski

Rob has worked as reporter and editor for several publications, including The Kent County Daily Times and Coventry Courier, before working for Gatehouse in MA then moving home with Patch Media. Now he's publisher and editor of WarwickPost.com. Contact him at editor@warwickpost.com with tips, press releases, advertising inquiries, and concerns.