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Extended heat wave settles in for long stay in Southside

Turn up the air conditioner; grab plenty of water or head to the pool. It’s getting hot! 

According to Meteorologist Mike Sporer of the National Weather Service in Blacksburg, there’s a heat wave coming to Southside, and the temperatures are going to be “darn close” to triple digits for several days.

“This high temperature is out of the ordinary for our area this time of the year. The average is usually upper 80s and low 60s,” said Sporer.

The lows are expected to be in the low to mid 70s the end of this week throughout the weekend. The nights will be warm, and according to Sporer, will cause heat stress on the body. 

The weather the county is experiencing now is roughly 10 degrees above normal for this time of the year, he said.

“It doesn’t allow the body to cool off from the day when the nights are warm,” he added.

Sporer suggests those who brave the heat should stay hydrated, or stay in an air conditioned area or have a window fan.

For those who don’t have access to air conditioning in their homes, authorities suggest they visit a cool place like the library, movie theatre or go shopping.

Although there is a very small chance of a late Friday storm, no fronts are anywhere in sight, and none are in the forecast at this time.

“It’s only a hypothesis at this time, and it’s unlikely to happen,” said Sporer.

Last year at this time, the average temperature was upper 80-90s.

“It’s going to be hot,” Sporer said.

The smoldering temperatures aren’t just going to cause discomfort for those trying to stay cool, but it also will affect those four-legged pets.

According to Halifax County Humane Society spokesman Cheryl Watts, animals should never be left in a car or truck on hot days, even with a window open. 

Temperatures can rise to 120 degrees in less than 30 minutes, and she suggests leaving pets at home when it gets this hot.

If pets get too hot, they could suffer a heatstroke. Some symptoms include, increased heart rate, labored breathing, weakness and even seizures and coma.

“If you suspect your pet is nearing heatstroke, cool it off with water from a hose or cover it with wet towels. Then get the pet to the vet in a hurry,” said Watts.

Halifax County Humane Society offers these tips for pets to avoid the heat:

Walk your dog early on hot days or in the evening when the temperatures have gone down. This is both to prevent heatstroke and also to prevent burned foot pads.

 Provide plenty of water and shade during all parts of the day. Outside dogs would benefit from a sprinkler, pool or sand pit soaked in water.

 Light colored animals — both cats and dogs — are at higher risk for sunburn and skin cancer than those with dark fur. Provide outdoor animals with pet safe sunscreen SPF 15 from a vet or pet supply store. Put it on the belly, nose and ears.

This information can be found in a free brochure provided by the Halifax County Humane Society. 

For more information, call 1-866-553-7365.