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Staying cool this summer

by Will Phillips

Weather Service expects cooler temps, more storms

The summer forecast for North Louisiana predicts better chances of a wetter and cooler summer. 

Due to the increased rainfall that the local area has received as of late, C. S. Ross, a Hydrologist at the National Weather Service Headquarters in Shreveport, said that “The soil moisture levels are higher than they normally are.” This means that all the local bodies of water will also have higher water levels as well. 

That, along with predictions of storms to come in the future could potentially lead to, “an increased chance of flash floods and other flood related issues,” said Ross.

“Increased chances of sinkholes and other issues related to the ground shifting can  also be a consequence due to higher than average ground moisture,” he said. 

Though on the plus side, all of the ground moisture will lead to cooler temperatures than if the summer were to be dryer. 

Hurricane season starts June 1 and it is predicted to be a relatively normal one. “Normal is good given the fact that the last major storm incident that directly affected Louisiana was Hurricane Gustav in 2008,” said Ross. 

While it is anticipated to be a cooler-than-average summer, that doesn’t mean that it still won’t be hot. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that on average “Extreme heat causes more than 600 deaths each year.” Typically your body can cool itself through bodily functions like sweating, however “(people) can become ill from the heat if (their) body can’t compensate for it and properly cool (them) off” the CDC states. 

In fact, the high humidity North Louisiana will be faced with might actually increase the risk of extreme heat even with the cooler temperatures, due to the fact that “When the humidity is high, sweat won’t evaporate as quickly, which keeps your body from releasing heat as fast as it may need to” according to the CDC. 

Luckily, these deaths and heat related illnesses are extremely preventable according to the CDC.  People can do things such as “Stay in an air-conditioned indoor location as much as possible, drink plenty of fluids even if you don’t feel thirsty,

wear loose, lightweight, light-colored clothing and sunscreen, and schedule outdoor activities earlier or later in the day when the temperature is cooler.”

For more information regarding summer weather forecasts to www.weather.gov and more information on extreme heat illness prevention go to www.cdc.gov.

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