It’s the hottest topic in town, now that the primary election is over: The weather.
With last week’s summer solstice came our region’s first taste of triple-digit heat on Tuesday. Now, the National Weather Service has placed Bryan County and most of the state of Oklahoma under a heat advisory until Friday night.
A high of 102 is anticipated today, with heat index values reaching 105 to 109. A dome of high pressure is sitting over the Plains, keeping moisture out and letting the heat flow.
“A continuation of very hot daytime temperatures and only modest cooling at night (the middle 70s) will increase the danger of heat-related illnesses,” according to a weather service bulletin. “Take extra precautions if you work or spend time outside… Know the signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke… Anyone overcome by heat should be moved to a cool and shaded location.”
The National Weather Service office in Norman issued the following “heat safety tips,” a common-sense guide to most of us who must venture out into the blazing Oklahoma summer at some point…
* Limit outdoor activities. Move outdoor work to morning or evening hours, if possible.
* Drink plenty of water or caffeine-free drinks.
* Wear lightweight clothing, and apply sunscreen if outdoors. A sunburn reduces a person’s ability to cool off.
* Never leave children, the elderly, or pets inside a parked vehicle.
Also, a weather service drought monitor index released June 19 showed Bryan County to be in between localized regions of moderate to sever drought. Today will be the 12th straight without rain, according to Oklahoma Mesonet.
Areas around Bennington are listed under a “severe” drought, with most of the county east of Durant under a “moderate” drought.”
West Bryan County is listed as simply “abnormally dry,” along with several counties to the west, while portions of the Red and Canadian river basins are experiencing no drought conditions whatsoever.