Dangerous Heat in Parts of US

Source: Wang Tom - 123RF

A heatwave featuring a life-threatening combination of heat and severe humidity has begun to spread across the United States, with excessive heat warnings and heat advisories in effect for at least 22 states and the District of Columbia.

According to the National Weather Service, 51 percent of the Lower 48 states are likely to see air temperatures reach or exceed 95 degrees during the next seven days, with 85 percent experiencing temperatures above 90 degrees during the same period.

Washington could see its first high temperature at or above 100 degrees since 2016. In Chicago, the air temperature is also forecast to approach the century mark.

The extreme heat even caused this weekend’s New York City Triathlon to be canceled for the first time in its 18-year history.

Many people are exposed to heat on the job, in both indoor and outdoor heat environments. Operations involving high air temperatures, radiant heat sources (e.g., sunlight, hot exhaust), high humidity, direct physical contact with hot objects, or strenuous physical activities have a high potential for causing heat-related illness.

Indoor workplaces with hot conditions may include iron and steel foundries, brick-firing and ceramic plants, glass products facilities, electrical utilities (particularly boiler rooms), bakeries, commercial kitchens, laundries, chemical plants, material handling and distribution warehouses, and many other environments.

Outdoor workplaces with work in hot weather and direct sun, such as farm work, construction, oil and gas well operations, landscaping, emergency response operations, and hazardous waste site activities, also increase the risk of heat-related illness in exposed workers.

The heat is also affecting cattle. Experts suggest cattle farmers cut back on feed rations by 25 to 50%. This will prevent ruminant animals from overheating via the processes of fermentation and digestion.

A few other pieces of advice for producers include spreading out water troughs to keep cattle from bunching up. To keep them in a place without windbreaks since a breeze can help cool cattle down.

According to AAA, high heat can cause car parts to fail, which will leave motorists stranded. The Association recommends motorists take preventative measures during the summer months.