Triple-digit temperatures predicted for this weekend
by Jennifer Cohron
Jun 29, 2012 | 1835 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Construction workers endure triple-digit temperatures while building the New Life Christian Church, located at Old Birmingham Highway and Jones Dairy Road in Jasper, Thursday morning.Photo by: James Phillips
Construction workers endure triple-digit temperatures while building the New Life Christian Church, located at Old Birmingham Highway and Jones Dairy Road in Jasper, Thursday morning.Photo by: James Phillips
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The heat wave that swept across the United States this week has arrived in Alabama for the weekend.

Temperatures in the state reached 100 degrees on Thursday and are expected to remain in the triple digits through Sunday.

The National Weather Service predicts that temperatures across western portions of central Alabama could climb as high as 104 today.

The heat index, which measures the effects of humidity on the human body, is forecast to be between 105 and 109 on Saturday and Sunday.

The Alabama Department of Public Health has advised the public to be alert to the warning signals of heat illnesses, particularly heat stroke.

Dr. Anitra Batie said many people underestimate how dangerous heat can be.

“Especially people who work outside because they say, ‘Oh, I’m used to it,” Batie said.

Other individuals who have a greater risk of experiencing a heat-reated illness include those who are obese or have heart problems, poor circulation, diabetes or who are taking medications for high blood pressure, nervousness or depression.

Batie encouraged those who must work outside to find an air-conditioned room or set up a tent where they can rest periodically.

She also stressed the importance of drinking plenty of fluids.

“I usually recommend one bottle of water to some Gatorade so they get some electrolytes too. If they have trouble with their sugar, they can dilute the Gatorade with some water,” Batie said.

Heat stroke occurs when the body becomes unable to control its temperature.

Common symptoms of heat stroke are hot skin but no sweating, a rapid pulse, headache, dizziness, nausea and confusion.

Batie said some individuals may start to sweat excessively, feel hungry when in fact they are thirsty and notice their urine getting darker.

She recommended seeking medical attention for those who become dizzy or unresponsive, stop sweating or develop a body temperature above 103 degrees.

Others can be treated with fluids and a cool shower.

However, Batie said her best advice for how to stay safe in the heat is to get out of it.

“If at all possible, stay indoors. I know I am,” she said.