As you've heard us mention time and time again, this time last year, Oklahoma was entering into a record breaking heat wave. Temperatures had just started to hit the century mark and the ground was drying up more every day. Our taste of summer started early. Now, here we are on the first full day of summer and there's a cold front moving through the state bringing showers, thunderstorms, and some cooler temperatures.
However, the rain will end later this evening and a big ridge of high pressure will build back in over the weekend, reminding us that cooler temps in the middle of the year typically don't last long. And when those temperatures heat up, you'll want to make sure you take the necessary heat precautions if you're outside for long periods of time.
First of all, every morning we mention the U. V. Index. It's basically just a measurement of the strength of ultraviolet rays at a particular place and time. The higher the number, the more dangerous it is to be outside in the sun without sunscreen. When the UV Index is in the 1-5 range, sun danger is low and usually means we'll be seeing at least some cloud cover. Once the UV Index rises above 6, you need to make sure you have sunscreen on if you're outside for during the hottest part of the day, or 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. If you're outside for long periods of time, reapply the sunscreen every hour or two. More frequently if you're actively sweating or swimming.
One part of beating the heat that tends to get overlooked more often than not is to stay hydrated. Water is obviously the best way to do so, but sport drinks are also effective, especially if you're active during the hottest part of the day. If you start to feel dizzy or even sick, get to shade or, if you can, get inside where there's air conditioning and hydrate. Heat exhaustion can arrive seemingly out of nowhere so as long as you stay hydrated and don't over-exert yourself in the heat, you'll be fine.
While we seem to stress severe weather safety more often than heat safety, heat safety is just as important. Stay safe and stay cool this summer!
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