I hope all is going well with you and yours & that you aren’t melting in this August heat.
These are some of the most dangerous days of the year, simply due to the heat. About 237 Americans die each due to heat related illnesses. Our bodies cooling mechanisms –
internal blood circulation adjustments, sweating and evaporation are defeated by the high humidity. Though you are rapidly losing your bodies water stores, the sweat cannot evaporate fast enough to dissipate the heat in the high humidity.
To help identify the danger zone, and express how the combined temperature and humidity “feels” or effects the human body the Heat Index was developed.
Heat Index can be calculated using the simple algorithm (I have wondered what ever happened to the old word “formula”):
HI = -42.379 + 2.04901523T + 10.14333127R – 0.22475541TR – 6.83783×10 -3 T 2
- 5.481717×10 -2 R 2 + 1.22874×10 -3 T 2R + 8.5282×10 -4 TR 2 – 1.99×10 -6 T 2 R 2
Or cheat and use this chart.
I picked this version because it uses the Dewpoint. Some charts use Relative Humidity, which is fine, except the humidity is constantly varying with temperature fluctuations, while the Dewpoint usually remains fairly steady.
|Heat Index Chart (Temperature & Dewpoint)|
|Temperature (° F)|
|Note: Exposure to full sunshine can increase HI values by up to 15° F|
HEAT INDEX EFFECTS
80 to 90 degrees – Fatigue possible with prolonged exposure and/or physical activity.
90 to 105 degrees – Sunstroke, heat cramps, or heat exhaustion are possible with prolonged exposure and/or physical activity.
105 to 130 degrees – Sunstroke, heat cramps, or heat exhaustion are likely, and heatstroke is possible, with prolonged exposure and/or physical activity.
130 degrees and higher – Heatstroke or sunstroke are highly likely with continued exposure.
You will notice that if you are in full sunlight the HI can be up to 15 degrees higher than indicated.
If you have pets another thing to consider is that “official” temperature readings are taken 6 feet above ground level. It’s much hotter on the ground where Fido & Puss have to walk.
I once conducted an experiment by placing thermometers at different places on the ground to see what the critters & their footpads were having to endure. Some places, particularly the sidewalks and pavement the temperature easily reached 150 degrees.
So, if you think, as was advocated on a recent local news program, that you are doing Old Shep a favor by taking him for a walk during heat such as this to keep him from being bored and flabby, I would suggest that you go barefoot with him. He can’t tell you what he is suffering, but I bet by your hopping, jumping and cussing that you will be able to convey the message clearly – “Cuss IT’S HOT!!!”
To help combat the heat danger, stay indoors as much as possible, hugging that air conditioner. Avoid strenuous activity, wear lightweight, light colored clothing. Avoid booze and caffeine, as they dehydrate the body. Drink lots & lots of water.
Sports drinks are ok for a once one-jug drink to help replenish your electrolytes, but the body absorbs water much more quickly. This being due to the fact that sports drinks are so loaded with minerals that the body misidentifies the juice as food and waits for it to be digested before sending it on to the lower innards to be absorbed into the body.
Drink. Drink even if you don’t thirsty. If you are thirsty, you are already dehydrated.
And to get down and earthy with the subject, as I can’t think of any other way to express this, if your urine is clear and there is a lot of it, you are properly hydrated, if this is not the case – it’s dark or there is none being produced. You are in serious danger.
Dehydration has been found to compromise mental function by dropping our brainpower by 25%. Which helps keeps you from thinking straight & doing the smart things that help keep you above the daisies.
So stay cool, wear a hat and keep hydrated.
August was originally named “Sextilis”, the sixth Roman month. It was renamed August in honor of Caesar Augustus & was lengthened to 31 days, to equal Julius Caesars month of July.
August is hot and humid & summer temperatures remain at or near their summer peak.
The rapid vegetation growth of spring is over, and, since conditions are now perfect for the growth of mold, fungi & germs, plants have a “used” look, which is enhanced if rainfall is scarce.
Towards the end of the month the big Yellow Sulphur Butterflies will begin heading to the South-Southeast, giving hints of their soon upcoming fall migration & cats will begin to hint of growing their winter coats.
Though the Hurricane season has been a fairly dead year so far, don’t discount the late starting seasons or “first letter storms” ferocity. Just think of Hurricanes Andrew in 1992, Betsy in 1965 and Camille in 1969.
Hurricane breeding grounds in August are the Atlantic, with Low Latitude storms forming off of Africa crossing the Ocean and either threatening the Eastern Seaboard or striking the Leeward Islands, entering the Caribbean and then striking the Yucatan, or the Western or Northern Gulf coast. Breeding grounds also include the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico.
21% of a year’s Hurricanes occur in August. 85 to 95% of land falling Hurricanes have not occurred by August 15.
The Perseid Meteor Shower peaks on August 12, with 50 to 60 meteors per hour (if you can get away from city lights).
August’s full moon is “Fruit Moon” in Cherokee Folklore & “Women’s Moon” among the Choctaw.
When you get a chance, “talk up ALERT”. Let people know who we are, what we do & why they should be involved. For YOU are the best recruitment tool we have.
This month’s meeting will be on August 10 at 7PM at the National Weather Service
Forecast office at the Shelby County Airport.
I hope to see you there.
Mark / WD4NYL