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HEAT WAVE: Officials urge safety during high temps

Temperatures soared to nearly 100 degrees in Pike County over Memorial Day weekend, making the kickoff to summer feel more like mid-July.

Despite a quick downpouring of rain Thursday afternoon, temperatures are expected to remain in the mid-90s throughout the week and into June with little sign of relief in sight.

“We have been running earlier this week about 10 degrees above normal for much of Central Alabama,” said Jason Holmes, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Birmingham. “Temperatures have come down a little bit from the weekend, those were the hottest conditions late last week, but we’re still running above normal for this time of year.”

Holmes said records haven’t been kept long enough in Pike County to determine whether it has reached a record temperature in that span, but that it has undisputedly been hotter than typical and that people need to be taking notice of the high temperatures.

“Beyond tomorrow until the middle part of next week, the chances of rain are pretty low,” Holmes said. “If these dry conditions continue, those temperatures will get warmer. Pike County is certainly no stranger to hot summer afternoons, but this is certainly a bit early in the year.”

EMA Director Herb Reeves said it is important for people to take sensible precautions with the heat.

“The main thing is going to be for everyone to stay out of the heat as much as they can and stay hydrated as much as possible,” Reeves said. “If you’re out in the heat, take periodic breaks to help cool down a little bit. If you do get overheated, call someone for some assistance.”

For people that do not have air conditioning or another way to cool down, Reeves said it is important to get in contact with someone that can bring them into cooler air to get away from the heat.

Holmes added that people need to be sure to wear sunscreen if they’re going to be out in the sun for any length of time and remember how quickly the heat can affect the body.

“People sometimes forget just how hot it gets in their vehicles, even if it’s just going to run an errand, how quickly that can become dangerous specifically to children,” Holmes said. “So make sure to bring your children and pets in from the heat.”

Holmes said a moderate drought is starting to creep across Southeast Alabama, which is not anything to worry about yet necessarily.

“It’s something to keep an eye on, nothing serious; but we certainly are hoping we get some more precipitation in the forecast,” Holmes said.