We have about one full month left until the official start of summer on June 21st, but the weather is already in summer mode for Alabama!
That makes this week perfect for Alabama's Summer Safety Week! Below you'll find the common threats from summer weather here in Alabama, and how you can avoid them.
Heat: Averaged over the past 30 years, heat is the number one culprit among weather related fatalities.
It's good to familiarize yourself with the following signs of heat exhaustion so that you can recognize it in yourself and in others: dizziness, fatigue, nausea, excessive thirst, or muscle cramps. If you begin to feel any of these symptoms, immediately go some place cooler and drink water until your symptoms subside.
In a more serious situation heat stroke can occur. Symptoms of heat stroke include headache, rapid and strong pulse, lack of sweating, or fainting. In the case of heat stroke you should seek medical attention.
In general during heat waves, the following tips will keep you safe:
- Stay hydrated. Opt for water anytime you're outdoors.
- Take regular breaks from the heat, by spending time indoors or in the shade.
- Avoid outdoor work during the hottest part of the day (typically 2PM-4PM)
- During heat waves, check on your neighbors to make sure everyone's air conditioner is working and that they're alright.
Severe Weather: A combination of heat and gulf moisture can lead to brief, but powerful, severe storms in the summer.
The structure of storms like these can be conducive to microbursts or downbursts. A microburst is essentially a brief burst of damaging winds, which can reach up to 100 mph.
Lightning: Lightning is often underestimated as a risk, but lightning leads to hundreds of severe injuries a year and has an average yearly death toll of 47.
If storms are in the forecast, make sure your plans will allow you to pack up and head in quickly if a storm develops nearby. Remember: if you're close enough to hear thunder, you're close enough to be hit by lightning.
Rip Currents: We're only a day's drive from the Gulf Coast, so you might already be planning a few weekend stays there. While you're on vacation, look out for rip currents.
Rip current are strong currents that flow away from shore and can carry you out farther than is safe. Rip currents can occur on calm sunny days, so check the local forecast for wherever you're going to find the rip current risk that day.
Keep us with you this summer! The key to having a safe and fun summer is preparing for the weather! You can check the local forecast to plan around the weather anytime right here: whnt.com/forecast
You can also take WHNT with you on the go and receive storm alerts with the Live Alert 19 App!