By Adam Ganucheau/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – Today marks the first official day of summer, but sweltering temperatures already have Northeast Mississippians noticing the time of year.
While it is impossible to accurately predict temperatures for the summer ahead, the National Weather Service in Memphis uses trends and scientific calculations to educate people on what to expect.
“Based off the three-month temperature outlook from the Climate Prediction Center, there is a 40 percent chance that the months of July, August and September will have above-average temperatures in Tupelo,” NWS meteorologist Andy Chiuppi said. “Again, it’s not guaranteed, but it’s a prediction based off calculations and scientific data.”
According to Chiuppi, the average temperature in Tupelo for the summer months is between 78.7 and 80.2 degrees. The prediction shows a 40 percent chance that the summer months will yield a monthly above-average temperature above 80.2 degrees, a 35 percent chance the temperature will be considered average and only a 25 percent chance temperatures will be below average.
With the rising heat comes a hike in heat-related illnesses.
Area doctors are advising their patients to monitor the heat and take necessary safety precautions.
“Wear a hat, sunglasses and lots of sunscreen,” said Walt Wilkins, coordinator of the sports medicine program at Northeast Mississippi Medical Center. “I tell my athletes that if they wait until they are thirsty, it’s usually too late. Hydrate yourself with plenty of fluids.”
Tupelo city officials are making similar suggestions for residents and visitors to the city.
“I would warn people that go to the parks to try to go out during the mornings or evenings to avoid the extremely high daytime heat,” Tupelo Parks and Recreation Director Don Lewis said. “Also, try to use the buddy system when going to the parks, or tell someone when you are going out and when to expect you back.”
Lewis said he has instructed his employees and supervisors to be wary of the temperatures this summer, and to always go out to city jobs with at least two people.
Wilkins said the best precaution to take during the summer is to use common sense.
“When it’s really hot, don’t stay outside for extended amounts of time,” he said. “Frequent breaks from the heat are always a smart idea.”
THE SUMMER SOLSTICE marks the longest day of the year and the official beginning of summer. The summer solstice occurred at 12:04
a.m. today in the Central time zone and 1:04 a.m. in the Eastern time zone, making the official start of summer for those two zones. The solstice occurred at 11:04 p.m. for the Mountain time zone and 10:04 p.m. Pacific time zone, making Thursday the official start of summer for those two zones.