All over Southern California cities are facing severe heat conditions. On Wednesday temperatures hit extremely high conditions – 95 degrees in Fullerton, 104 degrees in Lancaster and 94 degrees in downtown Los Angeles. This morning the National Weather Service issued an extreme-heat warning for temperatures exceeding 100 degrees lasting until Saturday afternoon for Los Angeles County, Orange County and Ventura County. Fitting to the heat waves today, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association’s National Climatic Data Center declared that January through June of 2010 was the hottest six-month period ever recorded on Earth.
According to the director of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, Jonathan E. Fielding, “when temperatures are high, prolonged sun exposure may cause dehydration, heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke.” Director Fielding advises, “Never leave children, elderly people or pets unattended in vehicles, even with the windows cracked or opened.” In addition, local utility officials are encouraging Los Angeles residents to conserve as much energy as possible. Local utility officials are concerned overconsumption of energy by air conditioning and fans will pressure power grids, leading to possible power outages.
For signs of dehydration or heat stroke, look for the following symptoms: dizziness, faintness, fatigue, headaches, increased thirst and muscle cramps. If symptoms of disorientation, impaired judgment, pale and clammy skin, fast and shallow breathing or a rapid and weak pulse beat persist, it might be a sign of severe heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Heat exhaustion or heat stroke might lead to brain damage and death. For more information about heat stroke prevention and cooling centers please access http://www.publichealth.lacounty.gov/docs/coolingcenters_june2010.pdf, or call 2-1-1.