ST. GEORGE — Washington County residents who aren’t quite ready for the first real heat of summer may want to head north to Iron County this weekend. The National Weather Service has issued an excessive heat warning for the lower parts of Washington County and Glen Canyon Recreation Area starting Thursday.
The warning affects lower parts of Washington County, including the cities of St. George, Hurricane and Ivins, as well as Glen Canyon Recreation Area/Lake Powell and the cities of Bullfrog and Big Water. The warning is in effect from noon Thursday until 10 p.m. Saturday.
Temperatures will start to rise on Thursday in St. George with a forecast of 103 degrees, followed by dangerously hot conditions with high temperatures up to 105 degrees in the St. George area Friday and as hot as 104 degrees Friday and Saturday across western portions of the Lake Powell area.
Extreme heat will significantly increase the potential for heat related illnesses, particularly for those working outdoors or participating in outdoor activities.
For those able to travel outside of the affected area, Cedar City may offer a welcome respite. Temperatures will be hovering in the mid- to upper-80s with 5-10 mph winds Thursday through Saturday and a 20% chance of rain on Friday.
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.
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