Triple-digit high temperatures expected at week’s end
By Joel Davis | (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Temperatures across Tennessee are predicted to build during the week, reaching highs in the upper 90s in Blount County on Friday.
For Thursday through Sunday, highs are expected to climb into the middle 90s across the Tri-Cities, 95 to 100 degrees around Knoxville, and 98 to 102 degrees around the Chattanooga area. Even the uplands will be hot — 95 degrees in Gatlinburg and 94 in Crossville, according to the National Weather Service.
“We’re going to see high pressure settling in over the next few days,” said Kate Guillet, meteorological intern with NWS Morristown. That’s ushering in these warmer temperatures. High pressure means drier air and less cloud cover.”
No precipitation is in the forecast and nearly all of the state ranges from abnormally dry conditions to drought status with the most severe conditions in the Reelfoot Lake region of northwest Tennessee.
The current record highs for Thursday through Sunday in the Knoxville area are the following: 100 degrees in 1952, 101 degrees in 1936, 100 degrees in 1952, and 100 degrees in 1954.
Zach Maxey, owner/operator of Smoky Mountain Kona Ice LLC, sells tropical shaved ice treats and ice cream novelties from a van, which can often be found at parks around the area. Increasing temperatures mean fewer customers during the day time, he said.
“As weird as it is, it’s difficult because no one is wanting to be out (in the day). The most I’ve been able to do business has been after dinner time. People have been going out when the sun goes down and it cools down some.”
The NWS encourages people to reduce or eliminate strenuous outside activities during the heat of the day and advises them to drink plenty of water and nonalcoholic and decaffeinated fluids.
Local residents should be aware of the health challenges posed by heat. “The No. 1 thing we watch for in high temperatures is heat exhaustion,” said Trauma Coordinator Trish Whitehead of Blount Memorial Hospital. “Some of the preventative tips are drink lots of fluids, especially water, and limit activities or strenuous exercise during the hottest times of day — the late morning through early afternoon.”
According to BMH, acute signs of dehydration include dizziness, blurred vision, mild to excessive thirst, dry, sticky mouth, confusion and forgetfulness; unusual sleepiness or tired feelings; decreased urine output, muscle weakness, deep rapid breathing or an increased heart rate, and sudden or persistent headaches.
Heat exhaustion often occurs after several days of high temperatures as a result of inadequate replacement of water and salt, which are lost through perspiration. The symptoms are dizziness, weakness, fatigue and sometimes nausea.
Heat stroke, the most dangerous heat-related illness, occurs when body temperature rises above 105 degrees. It may develop in a matter of hours and can be fatal. Symptoms of heat stroke begin with lethargy, which often leads to confusion, stupor and finally loss of consciousness. Both heat exhaustion and heat stroke are often severe enough to require hospitalization.
If you or someone with you begin to experience symptoms of heat-related illness, seek shelter in a cool place, drink water and splash cool water on the face, arms and neck to lower body temperature. If symptoms persist, call a doctor or get to the hospital.
When it comes to helping people stay cool, the Blount County Community Action Agency, which serves our low income, elderly and disabled population, does has a few fans and air conditioners available to those in need, said BCCAA Executive Director David Buchanan.“We do have a few air conditioners and a few fans, but we would like to let the people know if they would like to make monetary contributions or donate an air conditioner or window fan, they are welcome to,” he said. “We would certainly encourage them to do that.”
Window fans and 5,000 BTU wall air conditioning units are needed. They can be dropped off at the BCCAA office, located at 3509 Tuckaleechee Pike, Maryville, TN 37803. The office is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Monetary donations can also be sent to the office with the stipulation it goes for air conditioners. Anyone wanting to help can call Mitzi Long at the BCCAA office at 983-8411.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.