12 July 2012
Posted in WFTV Severe Weather Center 9
While Florida is no stranger to scorching summer heat, heat waves can be extremely dangerous to humans, animals and even plants. We thought we’d share with you some awareness information so that you can be better prepared should a heat wave occur.
What is a Heat Wave?
A heat wave is a prolonged period of excessive heat, often combined with excessive humidity, with very little air movement to help cool things down.
Why are Heat Waves Dangerous?
During heat waves, the human body is pushed beyond its limits. Under normal conditions, the body's internal thermostat produces perspiration that evaporates and cools the body. However, in excessive heat and high humidity, evaporation is slowed and the body must work extra hard to maintain a normal temperature.
By being conscious of the signs, you can recognize heat-related illness before it gets serious.
Muscle pains and spasms caused by heavy exertion, which triggers loss of water through heavy perspiration. These usually involve the muscles of the abdomen or legs. Heat cramps are usually an early sign that the body is having trouble with heat.
Typically involves the loss of body fluids through heavy sweating during strenuous physical activity or physical labor in high heat and humidity. Signs of heat exhaustion include cool, moist, pale or flushed skin; heavy sweating; headache; nausea; dizziness; weakness; and exhaustion.
Heat Stroke (also known as Sunstroke)
A life-threatening condition in which a person’s temperature control system stops working and the body is unable to cool itself. Signs of heat stroke include hot, red skin which may be dry or moist; changes in consciousness; vomiting; and high body temperature.