On July 5, the Springfield-Greene County Health Department issued an Excessive Heat Warning for the city of Springfield. The warning takes place when the heat index is 110 degrees or greater during the day, with a low of 75 degrees at night for at least two days.
The excessive heat could be tied to abnormal dryness across Greene County, as shown by the U.S. Drought Monitor. Cracking a high temperature of 100 degrees hasn’t been logged since 2014. National Weather Service meteorologist Doug Cramer said surpassing 100 was unlikely a few weeks ago due to all the spring rain. However, the mostly dry days since could set us on track to surge into the triple digits.
The warning was issued on the health department’s website.
Springfieldians are encouraged to stay indoors in an attempt to keep cool.
While they are not an official cooling center, Springfield-Greene County Library Branches are available to the public.
Springfield buildings with lobbies open to the public as cooling centers:
According to the National Weather Service, the hottest point of the day is from noon to 6 p.m.
The heat comes with several health risks, such as dehydration, exhaustion, stroke, rashes, cramps and sunburns. Heat exhaustion alongside dehydration are the most common ailments. Symptoms include heavy sweating, paleness, tiredness, muscle cramps, weakness, dizziness or fainting, headache, nausea or vomiting.
Springfieldians experiencing these symptoms should seek a cooler spot, rest and drink cool water. If symptoms worsen or last longer than an hour, seek medical attention.
Another ailment, heat stroke, can be fatal and happen even while indoors. It occurs when a person’s temperature climbs to or above 104 degrees. Symptoms include a high body temperature, red, hot or dry skin, rapid pulse, throbbing headache, dizziness, nausea, confusion or unconsciousness.
Abnormal dryness is described as a condition that can occur before drought is developing in an area, or as drought conditions are easing. Greene County hasn’t experienced drought conditions since about 2.8 percent of the county was in moderate drought in mid-October.
While not severe, the dryness does warrant watching. Data for drought conditions is gathered every Tuesday and released every Thursday by the U.S. Drought Monitor.
Springfield’s Excessive Heat Warning will dissipate on July 8 at midnight.
Tinsley Merriman is a general assignment intern at the Springfield Daily Citizen. He’s currently a senior at Missouri State University studying journalism, and most recently worked as section editor of Campus Life for the student-led newspaper The Standard.