Marie Roggenkamp / Daily Journal: Tuesday was a hot day to be at Pebble Beach, four-year-old Kelby Pierson jumps off the dock into the open arms of his mother, Jenny.

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Play it safe during heat wave

Published 10:58am Thursday, June 30, 2011

Health officials encourage Otter Tail County residents to take safety precautions today, with temperatures predicted to reach into the lower 90s. The heat index could reach 103, with winds of 14 to 16 mph and gusts as high as 20 mph.

The combination of hot temperatures and high humidity will combine to create a dangerous situation in which heat illnesses are likely.

County Public health officials urge residents to drink plenty of fluids. Stay in air conditioned rooms. Stay out of the sun and check on relatives and neighbors.

The heat index (HI) is an index that combines air temperature and relative humidity. The human body normally cools itself by perspiration, or sweating, which evaporates and carries heat away from the body. However, when the relative humidity is high, the evaporation rate is reduced. Heat is removed from the body at a lower rate, causing it to retain more heat than it would in dry air.

This evening’s weather forecast calls for a 40 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Some storms could be severe, with large hail, damaging winds and heavy rain in some areas. On Friday there’s a 50 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. It will be mostly cloudy with a high near 78 degrees.

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