Minnesota's Deadliest Weather Factor Since 1990...
The second greatest number of weather fatalities in Minnesota since 1990 has been due to excessive heat. Fourteen people have died from high heat and humidity. Only flooding has killed more people in the last 18 years.
Wisconsin's Deadliest Weather Factor Since 1982...
The greatest number of weather fatalities in Wisconsin since 1982 has been due to excessive heat. 116 people have died from high heat and humidity. This total is more than tornadoes, flooding, blizzards or anything else. The 1995 summer heat waves hold the record as the number one weather-related killer in Wisconsin since it became a state in 1848. Most deaths occurred in the major urban areas in southeast Wisconsin, but there have been a number of fatalities in the rest of the state as well.
Fortunately, there were no deaths last year from excessive heat in either WIsconsin or Minnesota.
In the last 10 years, a national average of 219 people have died as a result of health problems directly related to excessive heat. Considering this death toll, the National Weather Service has stepped up its efforts to more effectively alert the general public to the hazards of heat waves.
Based on research findings, the National Weather Service devised the Heat Index (HI). It is an accurate measure of how hot it really feels when the relative humidity is added to the actual air temperature. It is important to note that since heat index values were devised for shady, light wind conditions, exposure to full sun can increase values by up to 15 degrees.
Heat disorders generally have to do with a reduction or collapse in the ability of the body to shed heat by circulatory changes and sweating. In other words, a chemical imbalance caused by too much sweating. When heat gain exceeds the level the body can remove, or when the body cannot compensate for fluids and salt lost through perspiration, the inner-core temperature of the body begins to rise and heat-related illnesses may develop. Ranging in severity, heat disorders share one common feature: the individual has over-exposed or over-excerised for his/her age and physical condition in the existing thermal environment.
Sunburn, with its ultraviolet radiation burns, can also significantly retard the ability of skin to shed excess heat.
The National Weather Service will issue advisories or warnings when the heat index is expected to have a significant impact on public safety. The common guidelines for the issuance of excessive heat warnings is when the maximum daytime index is expected to reach 110 or 115, and the nighttime low temperature does not fall below 75 or 80 degrees.
Here are some tips to follow to ensure that heat-related problems do not impact you...
More information on Severe Weather Awareness Week.