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Danger Extreme Danger The Heat Index as shown in the table above is a measure of how hot it feels when relative humidity is factored with the actual air temperature. Hyperthermia , also known as heat stroke, becomes commonplace during periods of sustained high temperature and humidity. Older adults, very young children, and those who are sick or overweight are at a higher risk for heat-related illness.

The chronically ill and elderly are often taking prescription medications e. When combined with peripheral vasodilation and venous stasis , the excess fluid accumulates in the dependent areas of the extremities. The heat edema usually resolves within several days after the patient becomes acclimated to the warmer environment.

No treatment is required, although wearing support stocking and elevating the affected legs with help minimize the edema. Heat rash , also known as prickly heat, is a maculopapular rash accompanied by acute inflammation and blocked sweat ducts. The sweat ducts may become dilated and may eventually rupture, producing small pruritic vesicles on an erythematous base. Heat rash affects areas of the body covered by tight clothing.

If this continues for a duration of time it can lead to the development of chronic dermatitis or a secondary bacterial infection. Prevention is the best therapy. It is also advised to wear loose-fitting clothing in the heat. However, once heat rash has developed, the initial treatment involves the application of chlorhexidine lotion to remove any desquamated skin.

The associated itching may be treated with topical or systemic antihistamines. If infection occurs a regimen of antibiotics is required. The North American heat wave.

Record temperatures were based on year records Heat cramps are painful, often severe, involuntary spasms of the large muscle groups used in strenuous exercise. Heat cramps tend to occur after intense exertion.

They usually develop in people performing heavy exercise while sweating profusely and replenishing fluid loss with non-electrolyte containing water.

This is believed to lead to hyponatremia that induces cramping in stressed muscles. Rehydration with salt-containing fluids provides rapid relief. Patients with mild cramps can be given oral. The many sport drinks on the market are a good source of electrolytes and are readily accessible.

Heat syncope is related to heat exposure that produces orthostatic hypotension. This hypotension can precipitate a near-syncopal episode.

Heat syncope is believed to result from intense sweating, which leads to dehydration , followed by peripheral vasodilation and reduced venous blood return in the face of decreased vasomotor control. Management of heat syncope consists of cooling and rehydration of the patient using oral rehydration therapy sport drinks or isotonic IV fluids.

People who experience heat syncope should avoid standing in the heat for long periods of time. They should move to a cooler environment and lie down if they recognize the initial symptoms. Wearing support stockings and engaging in deep knee-bending movements can help promote venous blood return.

Heat exhaustion is considered by experts to be the forerunner of heat stroke hyperthermia. It may even resemble heat stroke, with the difference being that the neurologic function remains intact. Heat exhaustion is marked by excessive dehydration and electrolyte depletion. Symptoms may include headache, nausea, and vomiting, dizziness , tachycardia , malaise , and myalgia. Definitive therapy includes removing patients from the heat and replenishing their fluids.

Most patients will require fluid replacement with IV isotonic fluids at first. The salt content is adjusted as necessary once the electrolyte levels are known. After discharge from the hospital, patients are instructed to rest, drink plenty of fluids for 2—3 hours, and avoid the heat for several days. If this advice is not followed it may then lead to heat stroke. One public health measure taken during heat waves is the setting-up of air-conditioned public cooling centers. Mortality Heat waves are the most lethal type of weather phenomenon, overall.

Between and , deaths from excessive heat in the United States numbered 2,, compared with deaths from floods and from hurricanes.

In his study of heat-wave behavior, focusing particularly on seniors in Philadelphia, Phoenix, Toronto, and Dayton, Ohio, he found that people over 65 "don't consider themselves seniors. It has been observed that for some heat waves, there is a compensatory decrease in overall mortality during the subsequent weeks after a heat wave.

Such compensatory reduction in mortality suggests that heat affects especially those so ill that they "would have died in the short term anyway".

If a hot spell extends to three days or more, however, nighttime temperatures do not cool down, and the thermal mass in homes and buildings retains the heat from previous days. This heat build-up causes air conditioners to turn on earlier and to stay on later in the day. As a result, available electricity supplies are challenged during a higher, wider, peak electricity consumption period. Heat waves often lead to electricity spikes due to increased air conditioning use, which can create power outages, exacerbating the problem.

During the North American heat wave , thousands of homes and businesses went without power, especially in California. In Los Angeles, electrical transformers failed, leaving thousands without power for as long as five days. Wildfires If a heat wave occurs during a drought, which dries out vegetation, it can contribute to bushfires and wildfires. Physical damage Heat waves can and do cause roads and highways to buckle, water lines to burst, power transformers to detonate, causing fires.

See the North American heat wave article about heat waves causing physical damage. In some areas it was drier than during the Dust Bowl and the heat wave in most areas was within the top five on record.

Louis, Illinois , which remains the record highest temperature for that state. Almost people perished; the heat conditions lasted almost 16 days, aggravated by very high humidity levels.

Temperatures were highest in the southern plains. The hundred-degree readings were accompanied by very dry conditions associated with drought affecting the Corn Belt States and Upper Midwest. The heat also affected the Southeastern U. New York Times represented articles about the heat waves of affecting the central United States. The lack of emergency cooling facilities and inadequate response from civic authorities to the senior population, particularly in lower income neighborhoods in Chicago and other Midwest cities, lead to many deaths.

The state of West Viriginia was declared a disaster area. Nearly 35, people died in the European heat wave of Many heat records were broken including the hottest ever July temperature in Great Britain and many people who experienced the heat waves of and drew comparisons with them. The North American heat wave affected a wide area of the United States and parts of neighboring Canada during July and August Over deaths were reported.

The Greek forest fires were associated with the heat wave. On July 6, a renewed heat wave was forecast, which was expected to affect the entire state.

During this heat wave Victoria suffered from large bushfires which claimed the lives of more than people and destroyed more than 2, homes. There were also over half a million people without power as the heatwave blew transformers and the power grid was overloaded. In August , Argentina experienced a period of unusual and exceptionally hot weather during August 24—30, during the Southern Hemisphere winter, just a month before Spring, [43] when an unusual and unrecorded winter heat wave hit the country.

A shot of tropical heat drawn unusually far southward hiked temperatures 22 degrees Celsius 40 degrees Fahreinheit above normal in the city of Buenos Aires and across the northern-centre regions of the country.

Several records were broken. In the city of Santa Fe , As per the Meteorological Office of Argentina , August has been the warmest month during winter since official measurements began. Starting in May , records were being set. On 26 May, at Mohenjo-daro , Sindh province in Pakistan a national record high temperature of In June , Eastern Europe experienced very warm conditions.

Ruse, Bulgaria hit Other records broken on the 13th include Vidin , Bulgaria at The heat came from the Sahara desert and was not associated with rain. This helped the situation with high water levels in that part of the continent. The only cities in Bulgaria breaking records were Musala peak hitting Although it was not a record, this was the highest temperature recorded in the country. Five Bulgarian cities broke records that day: Ahtopol hit Fredrick, Maryland, and Newark, New Jersey, among others topped the century mark This was after temperatures reached In the Japanese heat wave of which began on July 16, temperatures reaching as high as According to a Japan Meteorological Agency report, some of these cities recorded the highest temperature in September since , reaching Land surface temperatures are distinct from the air temperatures that meteorological stations typically measure.

In March , one of the greatest heat waves was observed in many regions of North America. First very warm air pushed northward west of the Great Lakes region, and subsequently spread eastward.

This air mass movement was propelled by an unusually intense low level southerly jet that stretched from Louisiana to western Wisconsin. Once this warm surge inundated the area, a remarkably prolonged period of record setting temperatures ensued. Temperature records across much of southern Canada were also demolished.


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