Only have a minute? Listen instead
Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

The official first day of summer is still a month away, though extreme summer-like weather just won’t leave the Rio Grande Valley alone.

The National Weather Service Brownsville-South Padre Island station is again warning of dangerously hot conditions across the Valley this week, the third such warning the station has issued this month.

NWS meteorologists are advising residents to prepare for “major to extreme risk of heat-related impacts this week and weekend.” Expect heat advisories and/or excessive heat warnings by Memorial Day weekend, according to an agency bulletin Monday. The combination of temperatures well above average and high humidity is a potentially deadly one.

While along the coast the heat risk is expected to be in the “major” to “moderate” category, the rest of the Valley and deep South Texas will endure “extreme” heat conditions during the week, according to meteorologists, who cautioned that that level of heat is “very dangerous to anyone without proper hydration or adequate cooling.”

Anyone is vulnerable to becoming ill or dying under extreme heat conditions, not just children, the elderly or those with health problems, according to the NWS, which stressed that air conditioning is the “strongest protective factor against heat-related illness.”

“Heat becomes especially dangerous if it lingers for more than one day,” the agency said. “Hot days and warm nights don’t give our bodies time to cool down.”

Meanwhile, “heat islands” can intensify extremely hot weather, causing breathing problems, heat cramps, heat stroke, sickness and even death, meteorologists said. The NWS said it’s important to check on friends, family and neighbors during such extreme heat, wear light, loose-fitting closing and hydrate often — not just when you feel thirsty. Also, avoid unnecessary hard work or strenuous activity when outside or inside without air conditioning.

Triple-digit temperatures and heat index values are expected each afternoon through Memorial Day, with heat advisories likely being issued by mid- to late week, the NWS said. Meteorologists predicted heat indexes, or “feels like” temperatures, to approach 115-118 degrees heading into Memorial Day.

“In addition to the oppressive daytime heat, there won’t be much relief overnight as low temperatures are expected to remain in the low 80s across the (Valley) and portions of the northern ranch lands,” the NWS said. “In combination with the humidity, feels-like temperatures are going remain in the upper 80s and low 90s each morning.”

Meteorologists are forecasting intense heat and humidity for the entire week, but heat indexes are expected to soar going into Memorial Day weekend. For Memorial Day, the NWS predicts maximum heat index of 101 at South Padre Island, 112 in Brownsville, 114 in Harlingen, 116 in McAllen, 115 in Raymondville and 120 in Rio Grande City.

“Heat exhaustion is likely to persons unprepared for feels-like temperatures between 111 and 115,” NWS said. “Heat stroke is possible for persons exposed to the heat for several hours without adequate protection, with severe life and health risk. If you encounter someone in heat distress, move them to a shaded area, apply cool towels to their head and body, supply them with water, and call 911 immediately.”

With heat exhaustion or heat stroke, it’s vital to act fast.

Symptoms of heat exhaustion are dizziness, thirst, heavy sweating, nausea and weakness. In cases of heat exhaustion, move to a cooler area, loosen clothing, sip water and seek medical attention if symptoms don’t improve. Heat exhaustion can lead to heat stroke.

Symptoms of heat stroke are confusion, dizziness and unconsciousness. Call 911 immediately, move to a cooler area, loosen clothing and remove extra layers, and cool with water or ice.

“Heat stroke can cause death or permanent disability if emergency treatment is not given,” the NWS said.