The Magnolia State will experience “dangerously high temperatures” statewide today and through the end of the week, the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency warned this morning.
“Some areas could have heat indices up to 115 degrees! Take precautions to stay safe and hydrated,” the agency tweeted this morning.
The heat index is what the temperature feels like to the human body. While temperatures are expected to peak in the upper 90s, officials expect the heat index to peak between 110 and 115 degrees in the western and central parts of the state; it will also be high in the eastern parts of the state at 110 to 115 degrees.
In its warning, the National Weather Service included guidelines for staying safe over the three-day warning period.
“Drink plenty of fluids, stay in an air-conditioned room, stay out of the sun, and check up on relatives and neighbors. Young children and pets should never be left unattended in vehicles under any circumstances,” NWS says in its warning. “Take extra precautions if you work or spend time outside. When possible reschedule strenuous activities to early morning or evening.”
“Know the signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Wear lightweight and loose-fitting clothing when possible. To reduce risk during outdoor work, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration recommends scheduling frequent rest breaks in shaded or air-conditioned environments. Anyone overcome by heat should be moved to a cool and shaded location. Heat stroke is an emergency! Call 911.”
Climate change is driving extreme changes in weather patterns and temperature, climate scientists warn. A scientific study published last year found that heatwaves are becoming more common and more intense, with the number of days the northern hemisphere experienced heatwaves during the warm season growing sixfold from about 20 days per season in the 1980s to about 143 days per season in the 2010s.
The U.S. has now entered the 40th day of a nationwide heat wave that is breaking records across the country. The Climate Prediction Center expects temperatures across the South to remain above normal for at least another two weeks.