A high pressure system building up in West Texas and northern Mexico will bring excessive heat to the Rio Grande Valley over the next few days and the “feels like” temperatures are going to be blisteringly hot.
The National Weather Service in Brownsville says the increasing heat and humidity will warrant heat advisories on Sunday and Monday, in particular for Hidalgo, Starr and Zapata counties. On those days, afternoon temperatures will range from 95 on the eastern side of the Valley to 106 degrees in Zapata County.
But forecasters say the “feels like” temperatures will be a staggering 107 to 115 degrees Sunday and 110 to 120 degrees on Monday, with some areas possibly feeling even hotter. Overnight temperatures will be in the 80s, but feel like the low 90s.
The NWS says heat is one of leading weather-related killers in the United States, resulting in hundreds of fatalities each year.
Doctors say if you experience dizziness, nausea, headaches or muscle cramps, those are all signs of heat illness. Residents should take precautions against heatstroke when spending an extended amount of time outdoors, said Dr. Christopher Romero of Valley Baptist Medical Center-Harlingen in an earlier interview.
With a wide variety of symptoms, Romero said should closely monitor how they feel as they spend time outside as summer drags on, adding that heatstroke is especially dangerous because if left untreated, it can lead to organ failure and even death.
“Patients may develop a high heart rate, begin breathing fast, and have low blood pressure. Depending on the patient and their health conditions they may have increased sweating and appear red or flushed; however some patients will become pale and have dry skin with heatstroke. Depending on how much water someone has been drinking they may or may not notice they are urinating less than normal,” he said. “An elevated temperature or fever is a major red flag. If someone has been exposed to the heat and develops these symptoms it is important to seek medical care right away.”
The Texas Department of State Health Services offers the following advice:
>> Never leave anyone in a closed, parked vehicle during hot weather, even for a short time.
>>Drink plenty of fluids but avoid drinks with alcohol, caffeine or a lot of sugar. Start drinking fluids before going out into the heat
>>Take frequent breaks when working outside
>> Wear sun block, hats and light-colored, loose-fitting clothes.
>> Stay indoors in air conditioning as much as possible
>> Check frequently on the elderly and those who are ill or may need help.
The agency says infants, young children and the elderly are extremely vulnerable to heat-related illness and death, because their bodies can’t adapt to the heat as quickly.