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What is a heat advisory?

Columnist also bids a fond farewell

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Heat advisories in our area are issued by the National Weather Service office in Indianapolis. Their criteria for issuing this cautionary statement include one or both of the following:

• High temperature of 100 degrees F or above expected

• Heat index value of 105 degree F or above expected

While we in Indiana aren’t strangers to temperatures above 100 degrees F, we more often than not see heat advisories issued if the heat index is going to be 105 or higher. The heat index is derived from how humid the air is, i.e. how much water vapor it can hold. It’s an indicator of what the outside air “feels like.” It’s the opposite of wind chill, essentially. The higher the heat index temperature, the more water vapor the air can hold, which give sit that sticky, soupy, hard-to-breathe-when-you’re-outside feeling.

We’ve experienced a couple different spates of heat advisories this summer, and this week we have had more days with heat advisory conditions than not. Weather patterns during the month of August are often very dry and hot, and is often the time of the year we call the “dog days” of summer. When spending time outside, make sure to take extra breaks if you’re exerting yourself and plan to drink more water than usual. Also, pack the sunscreen! Sunburns can cause dehydration, so protecting your skin while hydrating will give you extra protection from the summer heat.

We’ll begin to cool down next week, so until then, be careful outdoors!

• • •

Over the last five years, through drought and spring freezes, turtles crossing the road, and bird migrations, I have greatly enjoyed writing articles for our local newspapers. In total, I have written 61 articles in this time, and I want to thank you for reading those, commenting on them, and calling in with your follow-up questions.

However, it is bittersweet to announce that my streak of writing newspaper articles will soon come to an end. I will be leaving Purdue Extension – Montgomery County for a new job on Purdue’s campus as the Extension Organic Agriculture Specialist. Working in Montgomery County as your Ag and Natural Resources Educator has been a rewarding experience. Thank you for your support.

 

Ashley Adair is the Montgomery County Extension Educator, Ag and Natural Resource. The office is at 400 Parke Ave., Crawfordsville; 765-364-6363. She may be reached by email at holmes9@purdue.edu.

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