Hot weather poses ‘dangerous’ situation for Malheur County

This graphic from the National Weather Service explains concerns with excessive heat.

ONTARIO – With hot temperatures lasting several more days, the National Weather Service is continuing its urgent warning of excessive heat that poses a threat to people and animals.

“The hot temperatures will create a dangerous situation in which heat illnesses are likely,” the service said early Monday. “Drink plenty of liquids, stay in an air-conditioned room, stay out of the sun, and check up on relatives and neighbors.”

[See chart with symptoms below]

The weather service forecast high temperatures above 100 degrees through Wednesday. The Malheur County Fair opens Tuesday afternoon and runs through Saturday.

Ontario on Sunday recorded its sixth day in a row of temperatures hitting 100 degrees or more.

With three more days forecast to hit the century mark, Ontario is approaching Top 10 record territory for the longest hot spells. In 1985 and 1977, Ontario was at 100 degrees or better for 10 days in a row.

The record hot spell, though, was in 1971 – 32 days in a row of temperatures of 100 or better.

And daily records don’t appear at risk, either.

The record high for July 30 is 109, set in 1968, and the record for July 31 is 107, set in 1971.

The average high temperature for those dates is 96, according to weather service records.

The highest temperature on record for Ontario is 113, hit on Aug. 4, 1961, and on July 12, 1967.

Heat risks

According to the federal Centers for Disease Control, “Heat-related illnesses, like heat exhaustion or heat stroke, happen when the body is not able to properly cool itself. While the body normally cools itself by sweating, during extreme heat, this might not be enough. In these cases, a person’s body temperature rises faster than it can cool itself down. This can cause damage to the brain and other vital organs.

The Centers for Disease Control tips for staying hydrated:

Drink Plenty of Fluids: Drink more fluids, regardless of how active you are. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink. Stay away from very sugary or alcoholic drinks. These actually cause you to lose more body fluid. Also avoid very cold drinks, because they can cause stomach cramps.

Warning: If your doctor limits the amount you drink or has you on water pills, ask how much you should drink while the weather is hot.

Replace Salt and Minerals: Heavy sweating removes salt and minerals from the body that need to be replaced. A sports drink can replace the salt and minerals you lose in sweat. If you are on a low-salt diet, have diabetes, high blood pressure, or other chronic conditions, talk with your doctor before drinking a sports beverage or taking salt tablets.

Keep Your Pets Hydrated: Provide plenty of fresh water for your pets, and leave the water in a shady area.