From AP, staff reports
Temperatures are near record highs in Tennessee and the hot weather is expected to persist the rest of the week.
Temperatures in Obion County spiked over the weekend, going from a high of 64 on Saturday to 88 on Sunday and 91 Monday and Tuesday.
The predicted temperatures from the National Weather Service aren’t showing any relief either. This week’s highs will inch on up throughout the week to 93 today, 95 on Thursday and 98 on Friday before slowly coming down to 97 on Saturday, 95 on Sunday and 92 on Monday. The predicted lows won’t go past the high 60s and are expected to hang around the low 70s throughout the week.
The National Weather Service’s forecast for Union City calls for the skies to be sunny and hot until Sunday, when there is only a 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms.
Nashville’s high Tuesday was 94, just 2 degrees under the record for May 31.
The Tennessee Valley Authority told WATE-TV in Knoxville it expects to use 29,000 megawatts of power daily as the temperature exceeds 90 degrees, 5,000 to 6,000 megawatts more than during off-peak season.
The federal utility said it has enough power to meet demand.
Consumers can help reduce demand, and their power bills, by raising thermostats to 78 degrees, according to the TVA. Every degree below 78 increases the average cost to consumers by 5 percent.
Other energy-saving tips include:
• Turning off unnecessary lights and appliances.
• Using the “sleep mode” on computers.
• Keeping window blinds and curtains closed on the south, east and west sides of the house during the day.
• Using the microwave or a grill instead of a stove burner or oven for cooking.
• Operating dishwashers and clothes washers only with full loads and after 8 p.m.
The high temperatures cannot only negatively affect the electricity bill, they can also negatively affect the body.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers the following tips for preventing heat-related illnesses.
• Drink more fluids (nonalcoholic), regardless of your activity level. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink. Warning: If your doctor generally limits the amount of fluid you drink or has you on water pills, ask him how much you should drink while the weather is hot.
• Don’t drink liquids that contain alcohol or large amounts of sugar — these actually cause you to lose more body fluid. Also, avoid very cold drinks, because they can cause stomach cramps.
• Stay indoors and, if at all possible, stay in an air-conditioned place. If your home does not have air conditioning, go to the shopping mall or public library. Even a few hours spent in air conditioning can help your body stay cooler when you go back into the heat.
• Electric fans may provide comfort, but when the temperature is in the high 90s, fans will not prevent heat-related illness. Taking a cool shower or bath or moving to an air-conditioned place is a much better way to cool off.
• Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing.
• Never leave anyone in a closed, parked vehicle.
• Although anyone at any time can suffer from heat-related illness, some people are at greater risk than others. Check regularly on: infants and young children; people ages 65 or older; people who have a mental illness; those who are physically ill, especially with heart disease or high blood pressure.
• Visit adults at risk at least twice a day and closely watch them for signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Infants and young children, of course, need much more frequent watching.
If you must be out in the heat:
• Limit your outdoor activity to morning and evening hours.
• Cut down on exercise. If you must exercise, drink two to four glasses of cool, non-alcoholic fluids each hour.
A sports beverage can replace the salt and minerals you lose in sweat. Warning: If you are on a low-salt diet, talk with your doctor before drinking a sports beverage.
• Try to rest often in shady areas.
• Protect yourself from the sun by wearing a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses and by putting on sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher. The most effective products say “broad spectrum” or “UVA/UVB protection” on their labels.
Published in The Messenger 6.1.11