County adjusts to heat advisory

By CHRISTINE STEPHENSON
cstephenson@dcherald.com

The dog days of summer, a period traditionally marked by particularly hot and humid weather, technically ended Wednesday, according to Old Farmer’s Almanac. It certainly doesn’t feel over, though, at least in Dubois County.

Thursday was the second consecutive day the National Weather Service issued a heat advisory for Dubois County. Heat index values reached at least 105 degrees Wednesday, National Weather Service Louisville Meteorologist Ron Steve said.

“The temperature high Wednesday was 92, but the humidity was just oppressive,” he said. “We’ve gotten into a stagnant tropical air mass with a pretty good supply of Gulf moisture, which just heats everything up and keeps us from getting any real showers or storms to provide any kind of relief.”

Although it may feel uncomfortable, the heat index hasn’t reached a level where it’s dangerous just to be outside, Steve said. Those involved in strenuous activity, such as construction workers or students with outdoor sports practices, may be at risk, though. Steve also emphasized that even weather much cooler than this can put children or pets at extreme risk if left in a parked car with no air conditioning.

NWS suggests drinking plenty of fluids, staying in air conditioning or shade whenever possible and taking frequent breaks from any outdoor activity.

Jasper Street Commissioner Jeff Theising said his employees haven’t adjusted their hours, which they might if it gets much hotter, but are being encouraged to stay hydrated and take breaks as soon as they feel they may be overheating.

“It’s more of an awareness thing than anything,” he said.

Tom Moorman, director of the Jasper Park and Recreation Department, said his employees working outside are doing the same. The department is also supplying popsicles to stay cool.

“We’re trying to do everything we can to have them not work too much before they take a break,” he said.

Humans aren’t the only ones taking precautions to stay safe in the heat. Kelly Eckerle, shelter manager at the Dubois County Humane Society, said the dogs are being constantly rotated so they are only outside at the play yards for short periods of time.

“It’s not safe for them to be out more than 15 or 20 minutes at a time,” she said. “Whenever the weather’s nice, they’ll be out there for hours.”

Eckerle also emphasized how important it is to have water and shade available for pets when outside.

“If anyone sees a dog that doesn’t have those basic things provided to it and is left outside, then that definitely would warrant a phone call,” Eckerle said.

Fortunately, the county will likely see a break from the heat and humidity by the weekend. The high temperature this weekend is set to be in the low 80s, according to NWS.

“The good news is there is a cold front to our north over northern Illinois that will be coming down sometime late (Friday),” Steve said. “It won’t be quite as hot, but I think it’s still going to be pretty nasty humidity for another day or so.”




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