Experts Stress Safety During Upcoming Heat Wave

By KBJR News 1

July 16, 2011 Updated Jul 16, 2011 at 7:14 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (Northland's NewsCenter) - Temperatures are on their way up in the northland, as a heat wave sweeps over the entire country.

Experts say it's only going to get hotter this weekend and into the week, and people need to be prepared.

It only comes a few times a year, and Duluth resident Bob Hendrickson says it's been a while since he remembers temps getting up there.

"It's been quite a while since it's been 90 so... if it gets to be 90 and humid, it's going to be tough," said Hendrickson.

But that is almost exactly what forecasters are predicting.

"We're looking at temperatures into the nineties and heat index values around 100, over 100, and maybe up to 105," said Brian Tentinger, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Duluth.

Brian Tentinger with the National Weather Service says it's not just Minnesota sweating out the heat.

A dome of high pressure is building over the center part of the United States, and causing intense heat across the country.

"There's heat advisories and heat warnings all through the central part of the country," said Tentinger.

Medical experts caution those who plan on being outside in the next few days of what can happen if they get too warm.

"There is kind of a spectrum of heat related illness. It can start out as mild as muscle cramps, heat cramps, and then progresses on to heat stroke which is the most dangerous," said St Luke's Hospital emergency physician Cynthia Haensel.

Haensel says being well prepared for the heat, and planning the day around the temperatures is the best way to stay safe.

"The hottest time of the day is between noon and 6 PM so if you can limit your accertional activities to before noon and after 6 pm that's helpful," said Haensel.

Loose, light colored clothing and continued hydration throughout the day are also suggested in an effort to beat the impending heat.