Southwest Louisiana has grown used to the typical heat and humidity during the summer months. Temperatures normally average at or above 90 degrees during an extended period between June and August.
Things become extreme when we combine the ordinary heat with the extreme humidity levels that can sometimes creep into Southwest Louisiana during certain weather patterns.
SWLA has entered into one of those weather patterns which looks to hold over the area thru the next few days.
The humidity combined with the warm temperatures can take those typical 90s and make them feel much worse. We call this number the heat index or the "feels-like" temperature.
The feels-like temperature is what it actually feels like to the body, exposed in the elements.
A Heat Advisory is issued when values get so high, significant discomfort or inconvenience toward the body could occur and, if caution is not taken, could lead to a threat to your life.
The National Weather Service issues a Heat Advisory in this area when Heat Index values are expected to be between 105-110 for more than 3 consecutive hours.
Temperatures during the peak heating of the day have been nearing this criteria. I expect the values to continue to flirt very close to this creating a possible dangerous situation across the area.
What can you do to help protect yourself from the excessive heat? Here are just a few tips to help keep you and your family safe during this summer heat wave:
1. Slow down. Reduce, eliminate or reschedule strenuous activities until the coolest time of the day. (Before 10AM or after 8PM.)
2. Wear lightweight, light-colored clothing to reflect heat and sunlight.
3. Drink plenty of water, non-alcoholic and decaffeinated fluids.
4. Air conditioning in homes and other buildings markedly reduces danger from the heat. If you cannot afford an air conditioner, go to a library, store or other location with air conditioning for part of the day.
5. Never leave children, disabled adults or pets in parked vehicles.
Remember that the heat index scale is used to measure numbers in shady regions. You can add up to 15 degrees sometimes in direct sunlight.
Let's all try and stay safe during this summer heat!