BY MELINDA WILLIAMS
Clipper Staff Writer
BOUNTIFUL — Temperatures will be trending down into the upper 90s by Friday, but that’s still about 10 degrees above normal, meteorologists say.
And temperatures are expected to remain above normal through the summer months.
“The prediction by the Climate Prediction Center is that the entire state has a 50 percent chance of maintaining above normal temperatures for the summer,” said National Weather Service meteorologist Mark Struthwolf. “Normally, they don’t make such a bold prediction,.”
It indicates meteorologists at the center must be pretty sure it’s going to remain much hotter than it should, Struthwolf said.
Temperatures have been hotter than 100 degrees since Thursday, June 27, with several days posting record-breaking highs. Temperatures are expected to remain above 100 through Thursday, Struthwolf said. By Friday, they should reach only 98.
“We have a really strong ridge over the western United States, and that has kept the west, even into Oregon and Washington hotter than normal,” Struthwolf said. “We’re hoping by this weekend that ridge weakens and we’ll see an increased chance of precipitation.”
Hot temperatures are causing problems for motorists and road repair crews statewide as roadways are damaged from the heat.
Davis County roads were not immune. Utah Department of Transportation crews spent much of Tuesday repairing damage to northbound I-15 at mile marker 335 in Clearfield, according to UDOT spokesman Vic Saunders. He said the damage was to one lane and crews wanted to repair it before the July 4 holiday.
With temperatures unbearably hot, health experts recommend staying hydrated, wearing loose and lightweight clothing, staying in air conditioned areas as much as possible and avoiding direct sunlight.
“Don’t leave pets or children in a parked car,” said Priscilla Angulo, the Safe Kids coordinator for the Davis County Health Department and a health educator. “The inside of a car can go from 75 degrees to 100 degrees in 10 minutes,” she said. “People think cracking the window helps. It doesn’t.”
Also, when it comes to children, adults should be aware that playground equipment can get really hot.
“Kids can get burned playing on it,” she said.
Above all, she said people should stay cool and hydrated.
“Drink more water. Drink two to four cups of water per hour while working or exercising outdoors,” Angulo said. “Don’t drink things with sugar or alcohol in them,” she said.
And for those staying inside, “drink more water than usual,” she said.
People should check on children and senior citizens at least twice daily, she said.
Signs of heat exhaustion include heavy sweating, weakness, pale, cool or clammy skin, a fast or weak pulse, nausea and vomiting and perhaps fainting.
Treatment of heat exhaustion includes applying a wet cloth, loosening clothing, and wearing lighter-weight clothing. If vomiting continues, seek medical attention, Angulo said.