(credit: Jupiter Images)

Heat Index

The chart below explains the effects and possible consequences of the heat index figures. As defined by the National Weather Service, the heat index “is a measure of how hot it really feels when relative humidity is factored in with the actual air temperature.” Here is a link to their heat index calculator.

Here is a chart showing the average Twin Cities dew points during summer months, stretching back from 1980 through 2015. According to Climate Central, Minneapolis-St. Paul joins Duluth and Fargo-Moorhead among the 25 fastest warming cities.

People And Heat

There are several simple solutions to dealing with the heat. If you have air conditioning, use it. If not, go somewhere that does. If you are in Hennepin or Ramsey County, know that there are a number of cooling centers available for you to use. These page have maps and links that shows where those without air conditioning can go to keep cool. These spots include libraries, movie theaters and shopping malls. Check the links below:

Interactive Map: Cooling Centers In Hennepin County
Cooling Centers In Ramsey County

Wearing lightweight clothing and drinking enough water are two more easy things you can do. Try to drink 5 to 7 ounces every 15-20 minutes, especially if you’re working outside. Being outside also means you need to protect your skin from the sun. Everyone should remember to put on sunscreen and reapply every few hours.

Tight knit clothing and hats also help with sun protection. This is extra important for children under six months and doctors recommend using both umbrellas and sunscreen to keep them safe.

Here are some more resources to help you deal with the heat:

WCCO Weather Center

This page features a map of every county in the state that indicate whether heat advisories have been announced. You can click on your county, if it’s shaded with an advisory, to read more information about conditions there.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Extreme Heat

The Department of Health and Human Services’ CDC page on extreme heat comes with a guide and offers tips on how to prepare for inclement weather. Their site offers multiple language options.

WebMD: Hot Summer Days Can Make People Sicker

This website includes information about heat-related medical conditions, signs of heat-related illness and the risk of heat stroke with some medications.

WebMD: 12 Ways To Protect Your Skin And Prevent Skin Cancer

This article includes tips on how to avoid melanoma risk.

WebMD: Surviving Summer Scorches

This Web site includes information on how to keep the elderly safe and offers warning signs, such as cramps, exhaustion and bad moods.

WebMD: Dehydration Overview

WebMD: Exercising In The Heat

Pets And Heat

Pets such as dogs and cats don’t sweat like people do and have harder time when it comes to dealing with heat stresses.

First off, don’t ever leave your pet alone in the car, even if you will be gone for a moment. You could get side-tracked and forget, and even if left for just a bit longer you could be potentially endangering your pet.

Do not plan jogging or walking with your pet in the heat of the day, especially after they’ve had a meal. Make sure your pet has an immediate access to water.

Signs of heatstroke include:
• Excessive panting
• Decreased salivation
• Unsteadiness
• Vomiting
• Coma

More Heat Tips For Your Pets

This website tells pet owners signs of heat stroke and offers suggestions on how to keep their pets cool.

Cars And Heat

Car safety in extreme heat is often overlooked and potentially endangering, but there are many easy solutions to keeping your car and you comfortable during the hot summer days.

First off, there are items you should and shouldn’t have in the car. Things like extra water, a steering wheel cover and an emergency kit are items you should have in the car, while dairy products, products under pressure and CDs and DVDs are items that should stay away from a hot car.

Service your vehicle regularly. Another easy thing to remember is to park your vehicle in shade.

Summer Car Care Tips For Your Next Road Trip