Keep your cool

Published 10:43 am Friday, July 21, 2017

A new heat advisory has been declared by the National Weather Service’s Wakefield station for today from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., and is likely to continue through Sunday, even Monday. This will be for Franklin, Southampton and Isle of Wight, as well as numerous other cities and counties in and around the Hampton Roads region.

According to the NWS website,, 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.

As of late afternoon Thursday, highs were still in the mid-90s with a heat index of 103. For today, sunny and hot with temperatures expected to be in the upper 90s and a heat index up to 106 degrees Fahrenheit, and these are forecast to remain so for several hours. Becoming partly cloudy tonight, highs will be in the upper 70s with a heat index of 105 expected until around midnight.

Saturday will again be sunny and hot with highs in the upper 90s. Partly cloudy on Sunday with highs upper 90s and lows in the upper 70s. The heat index will range from 105 to 109 both days.

Partly sunny on Monday with highs in the lower 90s, and a 40 percent chance of 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.