Heat Wave
Hot Weather
Heat and humidity can create life threatening conditions during the Summer. Read more about it below. 
The Heat and Your Body
When the Summer months arrive in Arkansas, the heat can become unbearable at times. Factoring in high humidity, it feels warmer than it actually is. More specifically, the body is not able to cool as effectively through sweating.

On a dry day, sweat evaporates into the air...which creates cooling. Adding moisture to the atmosphere cuts down on evaporation. Over time, the body temperature rises and shuts down.

Heat is the number one weather related killer across the United States (more than hurricanes, floods, lightning and tornadoes).

The "heat index" considers the effects of heat and humidity. When these variables combine to make it feel like 105 degrees or greater, it is considered dangerous.

HEAT INDEX °F
  RELATIVE HUMIDITY (%)
TEMP (°F) 40 45 50 55 60 65 70 75 80 85 90 95 100
110 136                        
108 130 137                      
106 124 130 137                    
104 119 124 131 137                  
102 114 119 124 130 137                
100 109 114 118 124 129 136              
98 105 109 113 117 123 128 134            
96 101 104 108 112 116 121 126 132          
94 97 100 103 106 110 114 119 124 129 135      
92 94 96 99 101 105 108 112 116 121 126 131    
90 91 93 95 97 100 103 106 109 113 117 122 127 132
88 88 89 91 93 95 98 100 103 106 110 113 117 121
86 85 87 88 89 91 93 95 97 100 102 105 108 112
84 83 84 85 86 88 89 90 92 94 96 98 100 103
82 81 82 83 84 84 85 86 88 89 90 91 93 95
80 80 80 81 81 82 82 83 84 84 85 86 86 87
A Heat Index Chart is shown above. For an image, click here.
For example, using the chart above...a temperature of 96 degrees with a relative humidity of 50% net a heat index of 108 degrees. Other than the chart, try using our meteorological calculator by clicking here.

When heat index values meet or exceed 105 degrees for several hours over a fairly large area...the National Weather Service will usually issue a Heat Advisory.

When heat index values reach 115 degrees for one hour over a fairly large area...an Excessive Heat Warning may be posted.

Current Heat Index Values
NOTE: For Heat Index values, look for HX in REMARKS. If HX is N/A (not available), then there is data missing such as temperature (TMP) or relative humidity (RH)...or HX is below 85 degrees.
     WEATHER ROUNDUP FOR ARKANSAS
     NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE LITTLE ROCK AR
     400 AM CDT FRI OCT 31 2014
     
     CITY           SKY/WX    TMP  RH  REMARKS
     FAYETTEVILLE   CLEAR     45   82  HX N/A (b)
     FORT SMITH     CLEAR     52   66  HX N/A (b)
     HARRISON       CLEAR     49   74  HX N/A (b)
     MTN HOME       CLEAR     50   71  HX N/A (b)
     BATESVILLE     CLEAR     54   66  HX N/A (b)
     JONESBORO      CLEAR     48   96  HX N/A (b)
     LITTLE ROCK    CLEAR     57   62  HX N/A (b)
     N LITTLE ROCK    N/A     53   77  HX N/A (b)
     WEST MEMPHIS   CLEAR     50   93  HX N/A (b)
     HOT SPRINGS    CLEAR     51   79  HX N/A (b)
     RUSSELLVILLE   CLEAR     46   89  HX N/A (b)
     MOUNT IDA      CLEAR     47   90  HX N/A (b)
     TEXARKANA      CLEAR     54   69  HX N/A (b)
     EL DORADO      NOT AVBL           HX N/A (b)
     PINE BLUFF     CLEAR     55   68  HX N/A (b)
     MONTICELLO     CLEAR     55   74  HX N/A (b)
Black color (b): Below dangerous HX value or no HX value available (N/A). 

Orange color (o): Approaching dangerous HX value (100 to 104 degrees). Heat cramps and heat exhaustion are possible with prolonged exposure to the heat. 

Red color (r): Dangerous HX value (105 to 114 degrees). Heat cramps and heat exhaustion are likely with prolonged exposure to the heat...with heatstroke possible. 

Purple color (p): Very dangerous HX value (115 degrees +)... and not often reached in Arkansas. Heat cramps and heat exhaustion are likely with prolonged exposure to the heat... with heatstroke becoming more likely.

Heat Disorders (Symptoms)
 
Excessive heat can cause heat related illnesses if you're not careful. Read about symptoms below.
 
SUNBURN: Redness and pain. In severe cases swelling of skin, blisters, fever, headaches.

HEAT CRAMPS: Painful spasms usually in muscles of legs and abdomen possible, Heavy sweating.

HEAT EXHAUSTION: Heavy sweating, weakness, skin cold, pale and clammy. Pulse thready. Normal temperature possible. Fainting and vomiting.

HEAT STROKE (or sunstroke): High body temperature (106 F or higher). Hot dry skin. Rapid and strong pulse. Possible unconsciousness.

Heat Disorders (First Aid)
 
If you or someone else has a heat related illness, below are some first aid suggestions. 
 
SUNBURN: Ointments for mild cases if blisters and do not break. If breaking occurs, apply dry sterile dressing. Serious, extensive cases should be seen by physician.

HEAT CRAMPS: Firm pressure on cramping muscles, or gentle massage to relieve spasm. Give sips of water. If nausea occurs, discontinue use.

HEAT EXHAUSTION: Get victim out of sun. Lay down and loosen clothing, Apply cool, wet cloths. Fan or move victim to air conditioned room. Sips of water. If nausea occurs, discontinue use. If vomiting continues, seek immediate medical attention.

HEAT STROKE (or sunstroke):  Move the victim to a cooler environment. Reduce body temperature with cold bath or sponging. Use extreme caution. Remove clothing, use fans and air conditioners. If temperature rises again repeat process. Do not give fluids. This is a severe medical emergency. Summon emergency medical assistance or get the victim to a hospital immediately. Delay can be fatal. 

Staying Cool
Drink plenty of fluids. If you are outside in the heat for any length of time, use some common sense and stay cool.  Why?  Heat can be deadly.  To avoid being a victim...drink plenty of non-alcoholic fluids.
Go to an air conditioned area periodically to help keep your body temperature down. Go to an air conditioned area.
Of course, while outdoors...wear light colored loose-fitting clothing and don't exert yourself too much. And check on the elderly to make sure they are in a cool environment. Every year...someone succumbs to the heat. Don't let that someone be you
Don't forget your pets!
Finally, don't forget about your pets! If you leave them outdoors, provide plenty of cool water and make sure there is a shady spot available.
Other Items
Other than the heat, there is one more item you might consider as you head outdoors. Too much exposure to the sun's ultraviolet rays could damage your skin.
Check the U.V. Index  To help you protect yourself, check out the UV (i.e. ultraviolet) Index links below.
For more information about heat and heat safety from the National Weather Service, click here. Heat Wave Logo

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