The weather for the last day of spring wasn't bad — but it was hot at 93 degrees. Heat index for the first full day of summer — June 21 — was more than 100 degrees.
And that wasn't the first 100 degree day for 2017.
“Summertime is here, so expect temperatures in the 90s with a heat index in the low 100s,” said Scott Smith of the National Weather Service. “I would not be surprised if we have a few 100 degree days here and there.”
For the record, the hottest first day of summer in the area was in 1936, when the mercury topped off at 105 degrees.
Smith said this June, the run-up to summer, has been “average.” However, that doesn't mean it has not been hot.
Westar Energy and Salvation Army will be giving away free fans June 29 to those who don't have air conditioning and need a way to try and cool off in the summer heat. Applications for the fans may be made by calling The Salvation Army, at 316-283-3190.
And Smith said residents need to keep an eye on the heat index.
“If they are outside it is important to take rest breaks and those kinds of things,” Smith said. “I imagine people are used to it if they have been around here for any number of summers.”
The Heat Index accounts for humidity — the amount of water in the air — in addition to the actual temperature outside.
“once you get a southerly flow and a lot of humid air from the gulf, that is when the heat index starts to rise,” Smith said. “When you see dew points in the 70s, that is moist, humid air and that is when the index will get above 100.”
It is during those times that heat stroke risk can be at its highest.
According to the Mayo Clinic, heatstroke is a condition caused by your body overheating, usually as a result of prolonged exposure to or physical exertion in high temperatures. This most serious form of heat injury, heatstroke can occur if your body temperature rises to 104.
Heatstroke requires emergency treatment. Untreated heatstroke can quickly damage your brain, heart, kidneys and muscles. The damage worsens the longer treatment is delayed, increasing your risk of serious complications or death.
While the first day of summer was one of those 100 degree index days, the Weather Service expects it to cool down this weekend. However, with summer now here, more of those 100 degree days can be expected.
“It will be more of the same,” Smith said. “We will see 100 degrees, but there will be a front coming through on Friday and we will see cooler temperatures this weekend. We may see 70s on Saturday, but we will warm right back up into the 90s next week. It will be more of the same.”
Tips to prevent heatstroke from The Mayo Clinic:
Wear loose fitting, lightweight clothing. Wearing excess clothing or clothing that fits tightly won't allow your body to cool properly.
Protect against sunburn. Sunburn affects your body's ability to cool itself, so protect yourself outdoors with a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses and use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15. Apply sunscreen generously, and reapply every two hours — or more often if you're swimming or sweating.
Drink plenty of fluids. Staying hydrated will help your body sweat and maintain a normal body temperature.
Take extra precautions with certain medications. Be on the lookout for heat-related problems if you take medications that can affect your body's ability to stay hydrated and dissipate heat.
Never leave anyone in a parked car. This is a common cause of heat-related deaths in children. When parked in the sun, the temperature in your car can rise 20 degrees F (more than 6.7 C) in 10 minutes.
It's not safe to leave a person in a parked car in warm or hot weather, even if the windows are cracked or the car is in shade. When your car is parked, keep it locked to prevent a child from getting inside.
Take it easy during the hottest parts of the day. If you can't avoid strenuous activity in hot weather, drink fluids and rest frequently in a cool spot. Try to schedule exercise or physical labor for cooler parts of the day, such as early morning or evening.