AUSTIN, Texas — This August is shaping up to be one of the hottest on record for Austin. Based on the average temperature (hot afternoons and warm overnights) for the first 15 days of the month, this August is currently the second hottest on record at Camp Mabry. 2011 was not just the hottest August on record, but the hottest summer on record with 90 total triple-digit days. As of Friday, we've had 25 triple-digit days so far this summer.
It hasn't only been very hot, but other than a few isolated showers, it has been mainly dry since June.
The latest U.S. Drought Monitor has abnormally dry conditions increasing, along with moderate drought conditions for portions of Central Texas.
Other than a spotty shower mainly east of Austin, we'll be mainly dry this weekend and much of next week.
Heat index values will remain in the dangerous category this weekend into next week.
Looking ahead, the Climate Prediction Center's 8- to 14-day temperature outlook does not show any relief for us here at home. We can expect to continue to see 100 degree days through at least the end of August now.
Some good news is that we can finally expect above-average rainfall during the same time period! Keep in mind, though, that August is the driest month of the year, so anything "above average" may still not be enough to turn your yard as green as it was at the beginning of summer.
With temperatures expected to continue to soar into the triple digits in the days to come, our body's ability to cool itself will be challenged. Here's some warning signs and symptoms of heat illnesses common on days where these temperatures occur.
Signs of heat exhaustion
- Excessive sweating
- Nausea or cramps
- Weakness or confusion
- Rapid heartbeat
- Pale or clammy skin
- Muscle cramping
- Dark-colored urine
Signs of heatstroke
- Hot, red or dry skin
- High body temperature of 103 or higher
- Fast, strong pulse
- Slurred speech
- Losing consciousness (coma)
Here's how to avoid heat exhaustion or heat stroke.
Know your risks: your ability to cope with high temperatures depends on your central nervous system.
Young people do not yet have a fully-developed central nervous system and older adults run the risk of a deteriorating central nervous system, which is why those age groups tend to be more at risk.
Here are some things you can do to avoid getting a heat-related illness:
Seek air conditioning. Know where you can take cover in the event that you're feeling fatigued or needing a drink of water.
Protect against sun exposure. Protect your skin with SPF 30 lotion or higher.
Wear protective clothing. Remember to take along a hat, as well as loose-fitting and light-colored clothing.
Hydrate. Staying hydrated will help you sweat and regulate your body temperature, keeping you cool.
And, of course, it's always worth mentioning to never leave your kids or pets in a parked car. Even if the windows are cracked or your car is parked in shade, temperatures inside can increase nearly a full degree every minute, increasing the chances of heatstroke and even death.
Let's get through this heatwave safe and sound so we can all enjoy the beautiful weather of fall right around the corner!
PEOPLE ARE ALSO READING: