Texoma has endured several days of brutal temperatures. According to Skywarn 6 Certified Broadcast Chief Meteorologist Ken Johnson, there is no relief in sight. "Conditions are ideal for extreme heat this Summer. Its very dry, there's no soil moisture," he said. The lack of moisture in the Spring is forcing temps to soar this Summer. "What happens is when there is soil moisture, the sun can evaporate that soil moisture and the evaporation process actually helps cool the atmosphere down a little bit. Well, we're not going to have that this year. So, what happens is there is nothing to absorb that heat and that heat just reflects right back into our atmosphere and temperatures are going to be really hot," he said.
Those extreme temps can cause the Human Body to shut down. "This time of year, you have various heat related illnesses," said Dr. Joe Mendoza, M.D., Director of Emergency Services at Kell West Hospital. The biggest threat is heat stroke. "That's where you have a body temp over 104F,confusion, dehydration. When that happens, you can have what we call in Medicine a multi system organ failure where you can have brain damage from swelling of the brain heat related injury to the heart and of course you can have kidney failure," he said. That can result in Death.
There are signs to watch for."Heat related illnesses are usually associated with some light headedness, some inability to sweat, maybe a fast heart rate, fast breathing and a little bit of confusion," said Mendoza. If you recognize those symptoms you need to act quickly. "First off, you need to get out of the heat and start hydrating yourself with liquid, sports drinks are good, I would avoid any of the caffeine -containing colas and the alcoholic beverages," he said.
Before the symptoms reach critical levels, there are steps you can take to prevent them from happening. Working with the experts, Newschannel 6 has compiled the following list of things to do.
- Wear light and loose clothing.
- Drink plenty of fluids.
- Avoid Antihistamines.
- Avoid caffeine and alcohol.
- Stay out of the heat between 10AM and 6PM.
- Use a cold compress to cool your body.
The tips may prove invaluable as the heat shows no signs of letting up, according to Johnson. "Its going to take some significant rain to get us caught up. We don't see that coming any time soon."