ST. GEORGE — The National Weather Service has issued an excessive heat watch for parts of Washington County.
The heat watch goes into effect Thursday at 11 a.m. and includes Utah’s Dixie and Zion National Park, including the city of St. George. The watch is currently scheduled to expire Friday at midnight.
Dangerous early-season heat is expected around the St George area, with daily maximum temperatures of 104-107 degrees – and 100-103 degrees in and around Zion Canyon.
Extreme heat will significantly increase the potential for heat-related illnesses, particularly for those working or participating in outdoor activities.
According to statistics provided by the National Weather Service, heat is the No. 1 weather-related killer in the U.S. The data shows that heat causes more fatalities per year than floods, lightning, tornadoes and hurricanes combined.
Take extra precautions if you work or spend time outside. When possible, reschedule strenuous activities to early morning or evening. Wear light weight and loose fitting clothing when possible and drink plenty of water. Know the signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke.
To reduce risk during outdoor work, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration recommends scheduling frequent rest breaks in shaded or air-conditioned environments. Anyone overcome by heat should be moved to a cool and shaded location. Heat stroke is an emergency – call 911.
Young children and pets should never be left unattended in vehicles under any circumstances. This is especially true during warm or hot weather when car interiors can reach lethal temperatures in a matter of minutes.
With the excessive heat will also come the cranking up of air conditioners. Due to this, the Energy Services Department of the city of St. George has offered tips on how to practice energy efficiency to save on those cooling costs.
- Set the thermostat to 78 degrees and use fans to provide a wind chill effect, making the room feel cooler and more comfortable.
- Avoid using the oven for cooking. Using the microwave or grilling outside avoids adding extra heat to your home.
- Close the window coverings, particularly on south and west facing windows to reduce the amount of heat coming in from the sun.
For the most current conditions, warnings and advisories, go to the National Weather Service-Salt Lake City office website.
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