February 24, 2018
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Heat is on in Maine this week

By Meg Haskell, BDN Staff

BANGOR, Maine — The hot, sticky weather over the Fourth of July weekend is likely to linger through the rest of this week. Especially for infants, children, the elderly and people with chronic illness such as diabetes, it is a good time to take it easy, stay cool, and drink extra fluids.

Mark Bloomer, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Caribou said Monday that Maine is at the northern edge of a high-pressure ridge settled over the mid-Atlantic states. That means daytime temperatures are expected to linger in the mid- and upper 80s, he said, along with high humidity. Nighttime temperatures will stay in the 70s.

Weak waves of low pressure may produce occasional rain showers and isolated thunderstorms over the next few days, especially in northern Aroostook County, Bloomer said, but the rain will not be enough to drive down the heat and humidity except temporarily.

“The bottom line is, it looks like it’s going to stay pretty sticky and warm, at least through the end of this week,” Bloomer said.

Heat and humidity put extra strain on the body. Infants, children, the elderly, the overweight and those with diabetes, heart disease and other chronic illnesses are especially susceptible to developing heat-related illness, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Certain medications, especially those taken for depression and other mental illness, increase the risk. Even healthy, active adults should be aware of the danger and prepare accordingly.

The CDC recommends that people limit physical activity, avoid exposure to direct sunlight during the middle part of the day, consume plenty of cool, nonalcoholic beverages, apply sunscreen, and wear lightweight, loose clothing. Babies, children and the elderly should be checked frequently and encouraged to stay cool.

For those who don’t have access to air conditioning, an electric fan and a mist bottle of cool water can help keep the hot weather manageable.

Pets and livestock also should be provided with shelter from the sun and plenty of fresh water to drink.

On the Web: www.bt.cdc.gov/disasters/extremeheat/heat_guide.asp.

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