The heat of summer has arrived in full, blazing glory. And about a month or two ahead of schedule, according to meteorologist Mike Griesinger.
Griesinger, who is with the National Weather Service in Peachtree City, said although the hot weather that is expected to keep things sticky throughout this weekend is a typical summertime weather pattern, it has arrived early this year.
"It’s a very similar weather pattern to August of last year," Griesinger said.
Griesinger explained that the weather is caused by strong high pressure aloft. When this happens, a large area of air sinks, holding back the amount of cloud cover. As the air sinks, it also warms, so each day that it continues to suppress cloud cover, the temperature builds a degree or two.
Griesinger said the high temperatures would probably peak at around 94 degrees Sunday, and then back down to the upper 80s at the beginning of next week with a potential for thunderstorms.
"Until then, we’re going to sit and bake under the high," Griesinger said.
The American Red Cross offers some tips for staying safe during the hot weather.
Wear lightweight, light-colored clothing, drink water and avoid alcohol and caffeine, both of which dehydrate the body.
You also should exercise during the coolest part of the day, which is usually in the morning between 4 and 7 a.m.
If you begin to experience any of the following symptoms while out in the heat, you may be in the early stages of heat exhaustion: Cool, moist, pale skin; headache or dizziness; weakness or exhaustion; or nausea.
If this happens, you should stop your activity and try to cool down and take in more fluids, according to the Red Cross.
Heat-related illnesses can be fatal and victims of heat stroke — characterized by high body temperature, decreased alertness, vomiting, and rapid pulse and breathing — should immediately get emergency treatment by calling 911.