The Rio Grande Valley, including Brownsville, is likely to continue to experience life-threatening heat into next week, so emergency medical personnel are advising locals to exercise additional caution during these hot days.
The National Weather Service in Brownsville/Rio Grande Valley predicts heat indices, or "feels like temperatures," between 111 and 120 degrees.
At around 10 a.m. on Thursday June 15, 2023, Brownsville recorded a temperature of 91 degrees, but the heat indexes made it seem like 109 degrees. The forecast for Thursday afternoon is for highs in the 90s, and the same is predicted for Friday.
The city of Brownsville's director of emergency management and homeland security, Odee Ann Leal, advised citizens to drink plenty of water during these hot days to remain hydrated and remain indoors between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m., the hottest time of the day.
Leal said residents should also check on their neighbors especially if they are elderly because at times they may forget to hydrate and stay out of the sun.
Residents should refrain from doing any outside lawn work during those peak hours as well because this could lead to an individual possibly suffering a heat stroke.
“Try to stay indoors as much as possible in a cool area. If you do not have air conditioning at your home we do have our public libraries and shopping centers, you can go and spend some time there,” Leal said.
Heat cramps and heat exhaustion are possible for persons not acclimated or unprepared for “feels like” temperatures near 100 degrees.
Other precautions to take:
• Look before you lock your vehicle. Children and pets left inside will die in minutes
• Wear lightweight loose-fitting clothing
• Take pets indoors to cooler spots until the heat wave breaks
• Reserve strenuous exercise for the early morning hours, and other exercises for sunset and an hour after
• If you encounter someone in heat distress, move them in a shaded area, apply cool towels to their heads and body, supply them with water, and call 9-1-1 immediately
By following these precautions and taking care of yourself and others, you can reduce the risk of heat-related illnesses and stay safe during periods of extreme heat.