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Excessive heat warning in effect for valley

After a fairly mild May, temperatures are soaring as June begins, so much so that an excessive heat warning goes into effect today.

The National Weather Service put out the warning, which begins at 10 a.m. today, alerting area residents that a period of dangerously hot temperatures will occur, which will create a dangerous situation, where heat illnesses are likely.

“There is an excessive heat warning, which essentially means it is going to be really hot,” said Dan Berk, National Weather Service meteorologist.

Temperatures will be up to 15 degrees above normal for this time of year, topping out at 107 degrees today, 110 degrees tomorrow and 105 degrees Sunday, where the heat warning ends at 8 p.m. when the high temperature drops to 100 degrees Monday.

Desert heat can pose serious health risks to anyone, especially the children, the elderly and people with poor circulation and weight problems. The homeless, without easy access to air conditioning and water are also at risk.

With the unseasonably hot temperatures, especially being the initial burst of summer heat in the area, everyone is urged to take precautions.

“We’re warning people that they should take precautions when they’re going out, since this is the first big heat wave of the year,” he said. “We’re expecting temperatures approaching record heat, so we’re just encouraging everybody to drink enough water and wear some light clothing.”

Other precautions that could help prevent heat-related illness according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services are: spending time in locations with air-conditioning when possible, drinking plenty of fluids, good choices are water and diluted sport electrolyte drinks (one part sport drink to two parts water) unless told otherwise by a doctor, and limiting outdoor activity to morning and evening hours.

Nevada led the nation in heat-related fatalities in 2015, with 25 of the 45 nationwide deaths from heat-related incidents in the Silver State.

Of the 25 deaths, about 60 percent of those were adults between the ages of 60 and 89 years old. Southern Nevada also lead the nation vehicle deaths related to heat with three, up from two in 2014.

The valley saw its first 100-degree day Wednesday where the high was 100 degrees, which is later than usual, but nowhere near the record, as the latest day to reach the year’s first 100-degree day in Pahrump was June 28 in 1998.

One way in town that residents of all ages can cool off is taking a dip in the Pahrump community pool, which opened prior to Memorial Day.

The pool is open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. until 11 a.m. for adult swim (21 years and older), then reopens at noon until 6 p.m. for open swim. Weekend pool hours are noon until 6 p.m.

Daily admission is 50 cents, while a single person annual pass is $20 and a family annual pass can be purchased for $30.

Additional precautionary measures that can be taken during extreme heat are:Use sunscreen with a high SPF to protect against sunburn and skin cancer.

Check in on friends and family, especially the elderly who may need help adjusting to the heat.

Always assign a designated child watcher when children are near a pool or any body of water.

Close and lock all doors, windows and gates leading to pools when not in use. Keep a phone near the pool to ensure children are not left unattended if the phone rings.

Never swim when thunder or lightning are present.

Animals are also susceptible to succumbing to heat if left outside or in cars, where temperatures can reach 120 degrees quickly.

Contact reporter Mick Akers at makers@pvtimes.com. Find him on Twitter: @mickakers.

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