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Monday, May 27, 2024

How hot is too hot? Here’s what forecasters say about this week

The National Weather Service in Wakefield is issuing an excessive heat warning to areas along the East Coast, including Hampton Roads and the Peninsula.

“Hot and humid weather is expected from Wednesday through the weekend. The heat is expected to peak Friday, Saturday and Sunday,” according to a news release from the Weather Service.

In addition, heat indexes “may reach or exceed 105 degrees Wednesday and Thursday, with high temperatures in the upper 90s to around 100 degrees” with a heat index of 105 to 110 degrees on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, according to the NWS Wakefield office.

Scattered thunderstorms are expected on Wednesday and Thursday with low probability of thunderstorms for the weekend.

Where to go

James City County has cooling centers which provide air conditioning and a place to sit down, Renee Dallman, spokeswoman for the country wrote in an email.

“We typically publicize the cooling centers when the National Weather Service announces heat advisories for our area,” Dallman said, adding pets are not allowed in the cooling centers unless they are service animals.

Both the Williamsburg and James City County libraries are one of four cooling centers. The other two are the James City County Recreation Center and the Human Services Center.

While not all localities have designated cooling centers, they do have city buildings where residents can escape the heat.

In York County, residents can use the two public libraries with air conditioning and computer areas, said Gail Whittaker, the county’s spokeswoman. Each library is open until 9 p.m.

In Newport News, the city’s public buildings, including the public library branches and the Four Oaks Day Service Center can be used for shelter, according to the city’s website.

It is not clear if there are areas where residents in Hampton can go. WYDaily reached out to the locality and they did not immediately respond for comment.

Here are some tips from the Virginia Department of Emergency Management. For more information, visit VDEM’s website.

How to prepare

  • Prepare for a heat wave by checking to see if your home’s cooling system is working properly.
  • Consider scheduling routine maintenance for your cooling system.
  • Ensure your home is well insulated and that you have weather stripping around your doors and windows to keep cool air in.
  • Cover windows that receive morning or afternoon sun with drapes, shades, awnings or louvers.
  • Outdoor awnings or louvers can reduce the heat that enters a home by up to 80 percent.

During extreme heat

  • Stay indoors, in air-conditioning, as much as possible and limit exposure to the sun.
  • Avoid strenuous work during the warmest part of the day. If you must work during extreme heat, take frequent breaks.
  • Dress in lightweight, loose-fitting, light-colored clothing. Protect your face and head by wearing a wide-brimmed hat.
  • Drink plenty of water and fluids. Sports drinks can help replace the salt and minerals you lose in sweat.
  • Eat well-balanced, light and regular meals.
  • Check on family, friends and neighbors who do not have air conditioning.

RELATED STORY: As temperatures rise, localities find ways to keep residents cool

Julia Marsigliano
Julia Marsigliano
Julia Marsigliano is a multimedia reporter for WYDaily. She covers everything on the Peninsula from local government and law enforcement agencies to family-run businesses and weather updates. Before WYDaily, she covered Hampton and Newport News for WYDaily’s sister publication, HNNDaily before both publications merged in December 2018. Julia was born in Tokyo, Japan and moved to Long Island, New York in 2001. A true New Yorker, she loves pizza, bagels and good Chinese food. Send comments, tips and other tidbits to You can follow her on Twitter at @jmarsigliano

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