According to the National Weather Service in Memphis, a heat advisory has been issued for Northeast Mississippi. An advisory is issued when the heat index reaches 105 degrees. It was at 109 degrees in Tupelo on Tuesday, one degree from having a heat warning issued.
Meteorologist James Branda said the area can expect several days of elevated temperatures.
“Temperatures are expected to stay above normal for the next few days, hanging around the upper 90s,” he said. “We should see a break around Monday with temperatures around 94 degrees. That’s not much relief, but it’s some.”
Average temperatures for this time of year are around 91 degrees, according to Branda. Some expected weekend thundershowers also may provide some heat relief. There is a 20 percent chance for a thunderstorm starting Sunday through Tuesday.
Lee County Coroner Carolyn Gillentine said that at least one person died from a heat-related injury last year. No deaths have been reported this year, but she said precautions should be taken for those who have to be outside in extreme heat.
People who normally work outside such as construction workers are tolerant to high heat, but Gillentine said even they are at risk if they don’t take the proper precautions.
“If you do work outside you need to increase your fluid intake,” she said. “Wear loose and light-colored clothes because darker colors hold heat.”
According to the Center for Disease Control, infants, young children, people aged 65 and older, and those with mental or physical illnesses are most susceptible to heat-related injuries.
Jimmy Avery, Tupelo Fire Department’s chief of operations, said first responders haven’t treated anyone for a heat-related illness. But he said with the temperatures so high, it may only be a matter of time.
Gillentine said a lot of the people who die from heat-related injuries don’t know what’s going on until it’s too late.
“From the deaths I’ve dealt with, the person has gotten hot and tried to sit down outside somewhere to cool off and they end up having a heat stroke,” said Gillentine. “On extremely hot days sitting under a shade tree is not going to cool you off. You need to get somewhere that you can cool down fast.”
Contact Danza Johnson at (662) 678-1583 or firstname.lastname@example.org.