Coming heat wave prompts safety warnings
June 28, 2013
The Carson City region will hit 100 degrees, weather forecasters say, prompting government warnings.
Thursday's temperatures were in the 90s. They're expected to ratchet up into the high 90s today and Saturday and top 100 Sunday, according to DayWeather.
"Stay hydrated," said Cortney Bloomer, Carson City Health and Human Services Department educator.
Along with drinking plenty of water, she said, people should be moderate about strenuous activities, seek shade when appropriate and check on elderly neighbors or relatives.
Leaving children or pets in cars is especially dangerous during a heat wave, Bloomer said.
"On days when it is very hot, the temperature inside a car can go up much higher," she said. "It's like an oven."
Jeffrey Page, county manager and emergency management director for neighboring Lyon County, urged residents to put together an emergency kit and a family communications plan, installing window air conditioners snugly, checking air conditioning ducts and considering covering windows when sun hits them with drapes and using reflectors between drapes and windows.
Page said people who don't have air conditioning should consider spending the hottest hours of each day in public or commercial buildings that are air-conditioned.
The heat wave is far-reaching as meteorologists are calling for highs at or above 112 through Wednesday in Las Vegas. While the Southwest has the most alarming temperatures, the heat wave is driving up the mercury all over the West. Western Washington — better known for rainy coffee shop weather — should break the 90s early next week, according to the weather service.
The heat wave is "a huge one," National Weather Service specialist Stuart Seto said. "We haven't seen one like this for several years, probably the mid- to late 2000s."
The system's high pressure causes air to sink and warm, drawing down humidity.
"As the air warms, it can hold more moisture, and so what that does is take out the clouds," Seto said.
The hottest cities in the West are taking precautions to protect vulnerable residents during the sizzle. Police are pleading with drivers not to leave babies or pets in vehicles, and temporary cooling stations are popping up to shelter homeless people and seniors on fixed incomes who hesitate to use the air conditioning.
Officials said extra personnel have been added to the U.S. Border Patrol's Search, Trauma, and Rescue unit as people illegally crossing the border from Mexico into Arizona could succumb to exhaustion and dehydration.
Several bodies of immigrants have been found in the past week in Arizona. Agents in the Tucson sector rescued more than 170 people from the desert during a 30-day stretch in May and June, when temperatures weren't as high as they're expected to be in the coming days.
At low-lying Lake Mead, which straddles the Arizona-Nevada border and is forecast to hit 120 degrees this weekend, rangers are positioned at trailheads to discourage hikers.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.