Summerlike sizzle endures

Summerlike sizzle endures

June 12th, 2011 by Kate Harrison Belz in News

FORECAST

Temperatures are expected to start falling today as a cold front moves through the area and will hover in the upper 80s through the end of the week. Chances of rain are slim, though the Tennessee Valley could see showers Wednesday and Thursday.

Source: National Weather Service


BEAT THE HEAT

• Drink plenty of fluids, even if you don' feel thirsty. Avoid caffeine or alcohol. Eat small meals more often.

• Wear loose-fitting, lightweight, light-colored clothing. Dark colors absorb the sun's rays.

• Slow down, stay indoors and avoid strenuous exercise in the hottest part of the day.

• Take frequent breaks if you must work outdoors, and use a buddy system.

• Check on family, friends and neighbors who don't have air conditioning, who spend much of their time alone or who are more likely to be affected by the heat.

• Never leave children or pets alone in enclosed vehicles.

Source: The Red Cross

Blistering hot temperatures are as much a part of Riverbend tradition as the music or chicken on a stick. But with Saturday marking the 14th day in a streak of 90-plus degree temperatures, festivalgoers may feel like they're being slow-roasted.

"Even the policemen are wearing shorts," said Chip Baker, executive director of Friends of the Festival. "People are used to the heat, but we're still trying to encourage people to prepare appropriately for conditions at the festival."

The temperature hit 95 degrees Saturday, continuing a relentless pattern that began May 29.

The streak can be blamed on what meteorologists call a "Bermuda high"- a semipermanent high pressure area, according to the National Weather Service at Morristown, Tenn.

But the heat likely will be broken later today and Monday as a cold front finally pushes in. Temperatures will dip to the low 90s and into the 80s until at least the end of next week.

"We should notice some more comfortable air by [this evening]," said Derek Eisentrout, a technician with the National Weather Service. "It will be more seasonable for this time of year."

He said the normal high temperature for this time of year is in the mid-80s.

Humidity also will drop off in the early week, Eistentrout said.

The arriving cold front brought spotty showers to the Chattanooga area Saturday afternoon, but chances of more rain this week are slim until Wednesday or Thursday.

Baker said folks heading to Riverbend need to make sure they're wearing summer clothes and staying hydrated. He said several workers were treated for heat exhaustion over the past couple of days, but he doesn't know how many people have been treated for heat-related symptoms at EMS tents.

Water is available from vendors and handed out at EMS tents scattered throughout festival grounds. The misting tent also remains popular, he said.

This year's heat streak is only half as bad as one Chattanooga endured in July of August last year: It lasted 31 days, Eisentrout said.