Hot Weather Returns to Western Kansas

Upper level ridging will build over the central plains late week, and summertime heat will return to western Kansas. High temperatures on Thursday will generally range from 100 to near 105.  Even warmer air can be expected on Friday near the Oklahoma border. A weak cold front will move into northern Kansas late Thursday and become stationary near I70, then drop south to near a line from Pratt to Johnson on Friday. The hottest temperatures will be just south of the weak front. Although afternoon temperatures will be a few degrees lower north of the front, higher humidities will make the environment feel even more uncomfortable. Isolated thunderstorms are possible during the afternoon and evening hours near the front, but extremely warm temperatures aloft will preclude widespread thunderstorm development.

The hot summertime pattern will persist next week with only minor day to day temperature variations.

The body cools itself largely by increasing blood flow to small vessels near the skin, evaporation of perspiration and evaporation of water from the lungs during breathing. If more heat is generated by the body than can be dissipated by the natural cooling mechanisms, the body core temperature rises. Rising core temperatures can lead to heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Symptoms of heat exhaustion include nausea, feelings of thirst, profuse sweating, and loss of coordination. Further increases in the core temperature of the body may lead to heat stroke, a life threatening situation that can result in death. Symptoms of heat stroke include mental confusion, bizarre behavior, faintness, strong and rapid pulse and possible delirium.

Anything that interferes with the body's natural cooling mechanisms can contribute to an uncontrolled rise in the body core temperature and heat related illness. Failure to ingest sufficient liquid will result in dehydration and the inability to perspire sufficiently to cool the body. Excessive humidity and lack of wind will reduce evaporation rates and make it more difficult for the body to cool itself. Poor circulation and inefficient production of perspiration through natural aging of the skin also can contribute to rising core temperatures. In addition, certain medications such as diuretics, sedatives and tranquilizers can interfer with the body's ability to perspire.

Be sure to consume adequate water to remain hydrated when working outside. Do not wait until feeling thirsty to drink. Avoid alcoholic beverages. If possible, avoid strenuous physical activity during the heat of the day. Older persons or persons with health conditions such as poor circulation are especially susceptible to heat related illnesses and should be especially cautious during hot weather.




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