Weather

‘Excessive heat’ warning issued in Merced County. Here’s what you need to know

Heat wave safety tips

The Sacramento Fire Department shares tips on staying safe and healthy as the mercury skyrockets.
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The Sacramento Fire Department shares tips on staying safe and healthy as the mercury skyrockets.

An excessive heat warning was issued Monday for Merced County and other areas of the Central San Joaquin Valley, according to forecasters.

The warning went into effect at noon Monday and stays in place until 8 p.m. Tuesday as temperatures may reach 105, according to the National Weather Service in Hanford.

“Young children and pets should never be left unattended in vehicles under any circumstances,” the warning said. “This is especially true during hot weather when car interiors can reach lethal temperatures in a matter of minutes.”

Along with avoiding activity during the hottest part of the day, experts say, forecasters recommend residents check on elderly neighbors. Pets should be brought inside or given otherwise cool shelter and ample water.

“For Merced, we’re looking at somewhere between 103 and 105 right now,” meteorologist Jim Andersen said. “It will depend where you are. The western (part of the county) may be a little cooler.”

By Wednesday the weather is expected to cool to about 100 and down into the low 90s by the weekend, he said.

In areas with poor air quality, people with heart disease, asthma or other respiratory diseases should minimize outdoor activities, health officials say. Extreme heat poses a substantial health risk, especially in vulnerable populations such as young children, elderly people, those with chronic diseases, pregnant women, people with disabilities and those who are socially isolated.

Heat-related illnesses include cramps, heat exhaustion, heat stroke and death. Warning signs vary but may include heavy sweating, muscle cramps, weakness, headache, nausea or vomiting, paleness, tiredness or dizziness.

Because many residents will be running their air conditioning, officials with PG&E recommend users think about other ways to conserve energy.

Setting the air conditioner to 78 degrees or higher when someone is home and 85 degrees when the house is empty is a good way to save, according to a news release.

Also, residents should remember to turn fans off when they leave. The fans move air around but don’t cool it so it’s a waste of energy if no one is home, PG&E says. On that same note, turn off unnecessary lights and unplug appliances not in use.

For large appliances, like washers and dryers, it’s best to use them before 4 p.m. or after 9 p.m. Using cold water to wash cloths also cuts back on the energy used.

“Simple actions and changes at home can be some of the easiest, no-cost ways to reduce energy waste and drive down greenhouse gas emissions,” the release says.

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