Heat warning in 2nd day

Published 9:30 am Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Weather service could extend it

Freeborn County remains in an excessive heat warning through today.

The warning is also in effect for Faribault, Steele, Waseca, Martin and Blue Earth counties, as well as the Twin Cities metro area and other southern Minnesota counties along the Minnesota and Mississippi rivers. Mower, Olmsted, Fillmore and Houston counties are not in the warning but instead have a heat advisory.

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“The warning is used for conditions posing a threat to life,” states the weather service website. “An advisory is for less serious conditions that cause significant discomfort or inconvenience and, if caution is not taken, could lead to a threat to life.”

The warning went into effect early Monday morning.

The National Weather Service says heat index values in the warning area were expected to be between 95 and 107 today.

“These dangerous heat indices are the result of the combination of hot temperatures and high humidity values,” the National Weather Services states. “Slight relief from the oppressively hot conditions will arrive for Wednesday, although temperatures will still range from the upper 80s to lower 90s.”

The statement also cautions that the heat warning could be extended into Wednesday. As of this morning, the warning was in effect until midnight.

Part of the problem is the humidity retains the heat overnight, while dry air would allow it to escape. The overnight low in Albert Lea was 77, and it didn’t reach that until 7 a.m. Most of the night the air temperature was around 81 or 82 degrees.

It’s much easier for air temperatures to reach the 90s if the day starts in the upper 70s.

The high in Albert Lea today, according to the weather service, was slated to be 95. The high for Wednesday is forecast at 89. Heat index values on Wednesday are predicted to hit as high as 97.

Elderly and young people are cautioned to stay in an air-conditioned place. For anyone suffering symptoms of heat exhaustion, apply cool, wet cloths, loosen clothing and get them in front of a fan. Call for medical help if the person shows signs of a stroke, such as an altered mental state or a throbbing headache, confusion, nausea and dizziness.

Cars can heat particularly fast because the heated air from the sunshine cannot escape through windows. Do not leave pets or children in cars.

Despite oppressive heat, Minneapolis public schools again will be open Tuesday.

The Minneapolis School District kicked off the new school year Monday as Twin Cities temperatures soared to a record 97 degrees.

The district said parents have the option to keep their children at home if they feel it’s necessary. After-school activities — both indoor and outdoor — were canceled.

Minneapolis public schools have 18 buildings that lack air conditioning and another 11 with only limited cooling, so schools are providing water to help keep students and staff cool and hydrated.

Industrial fans owned by the district have been distributed to schools. Families are encouraged to send water bottles to school with students.

Temperatures in Minneapolis are again expected to reach the mid-90s Tuesday.

About Tim Engstrom

Tim Engstrom is the editor of the Albert Lea Tribune. He resides in Albert Lea with his wife, two sons and dog.

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