KINGMAN - Dig out the kiddy pool and crank up the air conditioning - it's going to get hot this weekend.
The National Weather Service has issued an excessive heat warning for portions of Southern Nevada, southeastern California and northwestern Arizona.
The service is predicting that temperatures in Kingman will climb well past the 100-degree mark before the week ends. Today's high is expected to be above 100 degrees, and temperatures will stay in that general vicinity for the next few days.
Forecasts call for high temperatures to start to drop on Saturday and be considerably cooler by Wednesday, according to Nancy Selover, a state climatologist at Arizona State University.
"Our last record high for this time of year was set in the 1990s, but high temperatures aren't that unusual for this time of year," she said. "We usually get some high temperatures around the end of June. Then the first week of July and into August we get the moisture from the monsoons."
That moisture cools the air during the night and helps keep down daytime temperatures, Selover said.
This week's high temperatures are being caused by a high-pressure system that's stalled over the state, preventing a low-pressure system in the south from bringing in more moisture, she said.
"This is a pretty strong circulation system," Selover said. "It's not an El Nino or La Nina. It's just an unusually strong high-pressure system. These types of systems can sit around for weeks. This one won't. It'll move out by mid-week."
In the meantime, the Mohave County Department of Public Health is recommending that people limit their time outdoors and drink plenty of water. Avoid drinks that have a high sugar content or have caffeine in them and avoid alcohol. These drinks can cause you to lose more fluid.
Assistant Health Director Jennifer McNally also recommends that people stay indoors in air conditioning if possible. If you don't have air conditioning, hang out at a place that does for a few hours or take a cool shower or bath.
Electric fans can provide a cool breeze, but they won't prevent a heat-related illness, such as heat stroke or heat exhaustion, she said.
She also recommends people wear lightweight, light-colored and loose-fitting clothing and a wide-brimmed hat outdoors. Use sunscreen. Never leave anyone or a pet in a closed, parked vehicle.
Also, keep an eye out for the signs of heat stroke and heat exhaustion.
Victims of heat stroke can have:
a high body temperature
red, hot, dry skin
a rapid pulse
confused actions, and may become unconscious.
Victims of heat exhaustion may:
have muscle cramps
have weakness in their limbs
have a rapid pulse
have shallow breathing and a headache.
In both cases, seek medical help immediately and try to cool down the victim, McNally said. Get the person into the shade, start bathing them with cool water and monitor their body temperature. Do not give heat stroke victims fluids unless directed to do so by a doctor.
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