Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Excessive Heat Watch

The National Weather Service office in Albany has instituted an excessive cold/heat notification program with the counties in their forecast area. In winter, a cold stretch of three or more consecutive days with daily average temperatures of 10F or less triggers a notification. In summer, a hot stretch of three or more consecutive days with daily average temperatures of 80F or above triggers a similar notification. Thursday through Saturday appear likely to meet the heat criteria.

An excessive heat watch is already in effect from Thursday afternoon through Friday evening. The combination of excessive heat and high humidity will create dangerous heat indices. Temperatures in the mid to upper 90s on Thursday and Friday combined with high humidity may create heat indices of 100 to 110F during the afternoon and early evenings. Temperatures Thursday night will only drop into the lower to mid 70s, which will lead to rapid warming on Friday. I wouldn't be surprised if air quality alerts are issued during this period as well. Temperatures will be a few degrees cooler on Saturday and the dewpoint will be slightly lower. A disturbance on Sunday may trigger thunderstorms and will bring temperatures back to the seasonal range.

In conjunction with the County Executive's Office and the Ulster County Health Department we would like to offer the following important safety tips:
• Stay hydrated! Drink plenty of fluids, but avoid alcohol and caffinated beverages.
• Schedule strenuous activities during the cooler parts of the day.
• Wear loose fitting, light colored clothing.
• Stay out of the sun and move to air condition spaces whenever possible. Libraries and malls are excellent places of public refuge during a prolonged heat event. In addition, the following municipalities will provide cooling shelters:

Place, Address, Days,Hours of Operation
Ellenville Village Hall, 2 Elting Court Ellenville, Thurs & Fri, 8 AM – 4 PM
Lloyd Town Hall, 12 Church St Highland, Thurs & Fri, 8 AM – 4:30 PM
New Paltz Community Center, 3 Veterans Drive New Paltz, Mon – Fri, 9 AM – 5 PM
Plattekill Town Hall, 1915 Route 44/55 Modena,Thurs & Fri, 9 AM – 3 PM
Salvation Army, 35 Cedar St Kingston, Wed – Fri, 9 AM – 4 PM
Saugerties Senior Citizens Center, Market St Saugerties, Thurs through week-end (as needed), 8 AM – 8 PM
* These shelters are not equipped to care for your pets.
** Additional cooling shelters may open, please call 211 for the most up-to-date list of available facilities.

• Check on relatives and neighbors - especially the elderly. Excessive heat has a more profound effect on the very young, the elderly and those with pre-existing health issues.
• Don't forget about the effect heat has on your pets.....never leave your pet in a closed car!
• To conserve energy, do not set your AC thermostat lower than 78F, and turn off all unnecessary appliances and lights.