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Summer heat is here with 108 projected

If you haven’t noticed, it’s pretty damn hot outside.

It is hot today, it was hot yesterday and it is going to be hotter tomorrow.

This week has seen Boulder City temperatures break the 100 degree barrier every day since the weekend. Oh, how I yearn for the cool 97 of last Friday.

And it is only going to get worse before it gets better.

On Tuesday, the National Weather Service issued an excessive heat watch for the weekend.

“High temperatures are expected to climb to potentially dangerous levels for this time of year Friday through Sunday,” the service announced.

The expected high today is 103 degrees, climbing to 106 Friday and 108 Saturday. The temperature drops to 106 Sunday, and should be back under 100 by Tuesday.

If you think heading to the lake will buy you some relief, think again.

Lake Mead is supposed to realize temperatures of 108 today peaking at 113 Saturday, dropping to 109 Sunday. Tuesday, when its projected to be 97 in Boulder City, it is projected to be 103 at the lake.

This week’s fire column by Brian Shea on Page 2A deals with heat illness issues. While Shea covered a lot of ground on what to look for during the early onset of heat-related problems, it is also good to be aware of certain groups that are more susceptible to heat-induced problems.

Let me start with my group: the overweight. Yes, I know, I eat too much spaghetti and baked rigatoni. That leaves my obese self in a higher risk category to suffer from a heat-related illness, according to the Southern Nevada Health District. Fat folks like myself are, surprise surprise, able to retain more heat because of our flabby selves, which leaves us more prone to heat sickness.

Another group of concern for heat-related illness and death is the elderly because their bodies may not adjust for heat stress efficiently. This makes the older than 65 crowd less likely to sense and respond to a change in temperature.

Infants and children up to 4 are also vulnerable because they rely on adults to regulate their environment and provide adequate liquid.

And yes, animals are also at risk for overheating and heat stroke, just like their two-legged friends.

At this point I should say something about not leaving your pet, kids or grandma in the car, but that’s common sense. Unfortunately, some people still don’t have common sense. I’d like to think they aren’t they type of people who would be reading this anyway.

Those terrible tornadoes in Oklahoma? They don’t have anything on the numbers of people who die because of the heat.

According to the National Weather Service, 155 people died in the U.S. from the heat in 2012. Compare that to the 131 people who died from flooding, lightning, tornados and hurricanes last year.

Nevada had seven heat-related deaths in 2012, all outside. That is up slightly from the five reported in 2011, but well below the 23 recorded in 2010 when Nevada led the nation. Eight people died that year in their homes.

Get your air conditioner serviced, get the pool ready, and drink plenty of water.

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