Wisconsin Heat Awareness Day is June 9, 2011


June 9, 2011 is Heat Awareness Day in Wisconsin

Did you know that excessive heat is the #1 weather-related killer in Wisconsin...and in the U.S.?

The number of deaths attributed to excessive heat far exceed the deaths related to tornadoes, flash floods, lightning, or severe thunderstorm winds!

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Sponsors of Wisconsin Heat Awareness Day

Wisconsin's Heat Awareness Day is sponsored by the five NWS Offices that service Wisconsin and the Wisconsin Emergency Management (WEM) team.  Everyone is encouraged to learn more about the effects of extreme heat and high levels of humidity. Don't let the heat beat you!

The WEM folks and NWS offices that service Wisconsin generated a news story about Wisconsin's Heat Awareness Day.  It can be fouind here.

Wisconsin Governor Walker signed a proclamation concerning the danger of heat and the importance of Heat Awareness Day.  You can view the document below.  Click on image for larger version.

Heat Proclamation

Wisconsin Heat-related Death Statistics

For the period of 1986 through 2010, Wisconsin had 116 people die from the direct causes of heat & humidity, or an average of 4.64 per year.  Additionally, there were 95 indirectly-related heat deaths in Wisconsin where heat was a secondary or contributing cause of death.  The table below shows the yarly breakdown.  Note that major heat waves didn't occur in Wisconsin the past four summers.

Wisconsin Heat Deaths
  Direct Indirect
Year Deaths Deaths
1986 1 0
1987 0 0
1988 1 0
1989 0 0
1990 0 0
1991 0 0
1992 0 0
1993 2 0
1994 0 0
1995 82 72
1996 0 0
1997 1 0
1998 0 0
1999 13 8
2000 0 0
2001 10 5
2002 3 5
2003 0 4
2004 0 0
2005 0 0
2006 3 1
2007 0 0
2008 0 0
2009 0 0
2010 0 0
Total 116 95

National Statistics - To Put Things Into Perspective

On average, 143 people die in the U.S. due to heat for the 23-year periof of 1988-2010, when heat the primary (direct) cause of death.  The table below compares heat deaths to those related to other weather hazards:

YEAR  LGHT  TOR  FLD  WIND  HUR  HEAT  COLD  WINTER  DAMAGE COST
1988 68 32 31 - 9 41 17 55 6.2 B
1989 67 50 85 - 38 6 121 63 13.8 B
1990 74 53 142 71 0 32 13 48 6.0 B
1991 73 39 61 64 19 36 13 45 6.2 B
1992 41 39 62 28 27 8 14 59 38.4 B
1993 43 33 103 63 2 20 18 66 28.4 B
1994 69 69 91 29 9 29 52 29 4.4 B
1995 85 30 80 84 17 1021 22 17 11.4 B
1996 53 26 131 54 37 36 62 86 8.0 B
1997 42 67 118 75 1 81 51 90 10.8 B
1998 44 130 136 65 9 173 11 68 16.1 B
1999 46 94 68 62 19 502 7 41 12.3 B
2000 51 41 38 51 0 158 26 41 9.0 B
2001 44 40 48 31 24 166 4 18 11.8 B
2002 51 55 49 45 53 167 11 17 5.7 B
2003 43 54 86 43 14 36 20 37 11.4 B
2004 32 35 82 42 34 6 27 40 26.8 B
2005 38 38 43 23 1016 158 24 45 100.8 B
2006 48 67 76 40 0 253 2 28 11.7 B
2007 45 81 87 34 1 105 47 34 12.3 B
2008 27 126 80 70 12 71 44 47 30.3 B
2009 34 21 59 45 2 45 33 34 7.3 B
2010 29 45 104 24 0 138 34 42 MM
-----------------------------------------------------------------
AVG. 50 55 81 49 58 143 29 46 17.7 B

2010 NUMBERS ARE PRILIMINARY
KEY...
LGHT   - LIGHTNING
TOR    - TORNADO
FLD    - FLOODS
WIND   - THUNDERSTORM STRAIGHT-LINE WINDS OR
          WIDESPREAD NON-TSTM HIGH WINDS, STRONG WIND, MARINE STRONG WIND, MARINE HIGH WIND
HUR    - HURRICANE, TROPICAL STORM, TROPICAL DEPRESSION
HEAT   - EXCESSIVE HEAT AND HUMIDITY
COLD   - COLD TEMPERATURES OR WIND CHILLS
WINTER - WINTER STORMS/BLIZZARDS/ICE/AVALANCHES

On-line Resources

The hot & muggy weather we experienced on Memorial Day - Monday, May 30, 2011 was a reminder of what heat waves can feel like. Be prepared by surfing through the following web links...

Wisconsin Heat Wave Facts             Local Heat Awareness Page               Local Summer Weather Info Page

NWS National Heat Page                   "Beat the Heat...Check the Backseat" Campaign  -   (from WFO jackson)

Heat Index Inf  -  (from WFO La Crosse)               Red Cross Heat Info                FEMA Heat Page

A Close Look at Milwaukee's Weather During the July 12-14, 1995 Heat Wave

We looked at the hourly temperatures, dewpoints, and heat index values at Milwaukee Mitchell Field during the historical heat wave in mid-July, 1995.  Below are three graphics, one for each day.  Note the maximum heat index values peaked at 128.  At the bottom of each graphic is the average heat index value for the entire 24-hour day.

MKE heat day 1

MKE Heat Day 2

MKE Heat Day 3

 

A How Hot Can it Get Inside a Closed Vehicle?

Don’t leave children or pets in a car while you run an errand – even if it’s just going to be for a few minutes. Temperatures can reach dangerous levels in a matter of minutes.  Beat the Heat - Check the Backseat!

An un-official scientific experiment was conducted at the National Weather Service Forecast Office near Sullivan, Wisconsin a few summers ago. The objective was to determine how quickly an automobile would heat up to levels that would pose a health hazard to children and pets left in a vehicle with the air-conditioner turned off.

It was a sunny day. The automobile was parked with the sun to the rear. The automobile was dark blue, so it probably absorbed heat quicker and more efficiently than a light colored vehicle.

The simplified experiment consisted of putting an electronic thermometer inside a closed automobile, and one outside of the vehicle to measure ambient temperature in the shade. The interior and exterior readings were compared at timed increments.

The interior of the car was cooled to 83 degrees by the vehicle air conditioner, the engine was turned off and the monitoring was started. After only fifteen minutes the automobile interior heated to a deadly 120 degrees. 
Many unofficial experiments have been conducted that indicate inside temperatures can rise 35 to 45 degrees above outside temperatures!

Here are the results:

Time              Interior temperature     Outside temperature
CDT                      degrees F                        degrees F

1245 pm                      83                                    92
100 pm                      120                                    93
115 pm                      123                                    94
130 pm                      125                                    93
145 pm                      127                                    94
200 pm                      129                                    94
215 pm                      130                                    95
230 pm                      131                                    95
245 pm                      132                                    95
300 pm                      133                                    95
315 pm                      134                                    95
330 pm                      134                                    95

When hot temperatures occur it is important to not leave children or pets in parked vehicles, even for short periods of time, under any circumstances!

Heat kills.  In the past dozen years over 450 children have died from hyperthermia after being left in or gaining access to unattended cars!

A web site that is useful in highlighting the tragic consequences of leaving children unattended in cars during hot spells can be found by clicking here.  



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