Beat the heat

Tuesday Hettinger set a new record for the day, reaching 99 degrees, said Ken Simosko, meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Bismarck.
By JAMIE SPAINHOWER

Record Editor

 Posted June 29, 2012

Tuesday Hettinger set a new record for the day, reaching 99 degrees, said Ken Simosko, meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Bismarck.

“The last time that area had some extremely hot days was in June of 2002,” he said.

The warmest day on record was set June 26, 2002, with a high of 102 followed by 99 degrees on June 28 and an even 100 degrees on June 30.

The forecast through Monday is a little cooler, with highs expected in the 85 to 90 degree range, with an occasional shower or thunderstorm in the afternoons or evening Friday and Sunday, he said.

As for the Fourth of July holiday, Simosko said it should be in the mid- to upper-80s with occasional chance of showers.

“It will continue to be pretty much what we have been seeing recently – warm days with some possible precipitation during the evenings,” he said.

Simosko said it is important to remember to stay hydrated by drink plenty of water, wear a hat and use sunscreen, even if it doesn’t seem too hot.

“People can get heat cramps, heat exhaustion and even heat stroke and not realize it is coming, because they may not be sweating,” he said.

When the National Weather Service issues a heat index warning, it is to prevent these health issues from occurring.

“The heat index is determined by combining the air temperature with the dew point,” he explained. The dew seen on the grass first thing in the morning, for example, or the condensation on a glass of cold liquid you take outside gives the first indication of the dew point.

“The higher the temperature and the higher the dew point, the more muggy and humid it feels. This doesn’t allow the body to perspire, causing you to overheat,” he explained. While the body is still losing water, a high dew point doesn’t let the sweat evaporate as well, and there isn’t as much moisture on the skin. The body is just working harder to cool itself, which could cause problems.

Simosko said a warning is usually issued when the heat index is 105 or greater.

“Lots of times people think if they aren’t sweating, it’s not that hot,” he said.

Simosko reminds people to carry a weather radio – especially if they plan to be on the water or out in camping during the holiday – to stay in touch, as weather can change rapidly.

“Be sure and get off the water if there are signs of impending thunderstorms, or lightening strikes,” he said.

Basically use common sense, stay in touch and don’t forget the sunscreen, he said.

The National Weather Service has an app for many smart phones, can be reach online at www.noaa.gov, or by phone at 701-250-4224.