Heat continues to bake Western Tidewater

Published 10:06 am Friday, July 14, 2017

The heat advisory issued by the National Weather Service’s Wakefield station remains in effect for all of Isle of Wight County, Southampton County and the city of Franklin, as well as numerous other cities and counties in and around the Hampton Roads region. The advisory went into effect at 10:55 a.m. on Wednesday, July 12, and will remain in effect until 8 o’clock this evening.

According to the NWS website, weather.gov, a heat advisory means that a period of hot temperatures is expected, and that the combination of hot temperatures and high humidity will combine to create a situation in which heat-related illnesses are possible.

Temperatures are reported to be in the mid- to upper-90s with a heat index of around 107 degrees Fahrenheit, and are expected to remain so for several hours. As of mid-Thursday afternoon, the NWS forecasted a 30 percent chance of showers late on Friday. Tonight, partly cloudy skies are expected to become mostly cloudy with a chance of thunderstorms. Lows will be in upper 70s and the heat index is down to 103.

Saturday and Sunday are expected to be mostly cloudy and cooler with highs only in the upper 80s, lows in the mid-70s and a chance for more thunderstorms.

The NWS is advising residents in the affected areas to stay out of the sun, stay in an air-conditioned room, drink plenty of fluids and check on relatives and neighbors. Those who must work or spend time outside are advised to reschedule strenuous activities to early morning or evening, know the signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke, wear lightweight and loose-fitting clothing when possible and drink plenty of water.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration further recommends scheduling frequent rest breaks in shaded or air-conditioned environments. Anyone overcome by heat should be moved to a cool and shaded location.

The heat advisory affects residents in central, southern and southeastern Virginia as well as parts of northeast North Carolina. Cities and counties affected include: Northampton, Hertford, Gates, Pasquotank, Camden, Western Currituck, Bertie, Chowan, Perquimans, Brunswick, Dinwiddie, Prince George, Charles City, Greensville, Sussex, Surry, James City, Southampton, Isle of Wight, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Suffolk, Chesapeake, Virginia Beach, Eastern Chesterfield (including Colonial Heights), York, Newport News, Hampton, Poquoson, Margarettsville, Ahoskie, Elizabeth City, Edenton, Lawrenceville, Petersburg, Hopewell, Emporia, Wakefield, Barham, Poolesville, Booth Fork, Williamsburg, Franklin, Chesterfield and Chester.

Heat stroke is considered an emergency. Call 911 if symptoms are observed. Symptoms include a throbbing headache, dizziness and lightheadedness, lack of sweating despite the heat, red, hot and dry skin, muscle weakness or cramps, nausea and vomiting, rapid heartbeat, either strong or weak, and rapid, shallow breathing.