Earlier in the week, parts of Texas saw the absolute sign of oppressive warmth. Some cities, such as San Antonio, Lufkin and Victoria, set a record for low temperatures, with some not falling below 80 degrees even at night.
When a little relief is found during the night, the conditions are conducive to dangerously hot temperatures the next day.
The severity of overheating cannot be overestimated. Although hurricanes and tornadoes are gaining popularity around the world, many are surprised to learn that heat is the leading killer.
The heat advice applies to more than 22 million Americans from Missouri to Texas, including Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana.
The air rising from the Gulf of Mexico will cause the Dallas of Texas to reach a heat index – how it will feel when the humidity is taken into account – of 110 degrees both on Wednesday and Thursday afternoon.
Fortunately, the human body has evolved to fight excessive heat wonderfully. Sweating plays a key role in cooling your body temperature to a safe level.
However, this process is significantly hampered when the humidity is so high that sweat does not evaporate effectively.
This will happen in cities such as Dallas, New Orleans, Oklahoma City and Tulsa in Oklahoma, Little Rock, Arkansas and Witsita, Kansas, in the coming days.
Some valuable ways to combat oppressive heat are through appropriate dresses, meal options, hydration and skin protection.
Aim to drink about half of your body weight in liquid ounces. So a 150 pound person should drink about 75 ounces of fluid a day.
Avoid alcohol for the same reasons as you should avoid foods high in protein during a hot wave, they reduce your body’s ability to cool down.
A sunburn also significantly reduces your body’s ability to cool down effectively.
Choose loose clothing to improve breathing. Go for a lighter outfit as these will reflect and not absorb the energy of the sun, which translates into heat.