The National Weather Service has issued a heat advisory for most of the state through Tuesday. Temperatures throughout Georgia are expected to reach the mid to upper 90s but in some parts of the state, it will feel like it’s in the triple digits.
Heat index measures are expected to reach 107 degrees in Columbus, 104 degrees in Rome, 105 degrees in Macon and Americus, and a solid 100 degrees in Atlanta. And that’s just on Monday.
On Tuesday, those temperatures are expected to increase by about two to three degrees with places like Dalton, Trenton, and Dublin all feeling heat higher than 104 degrees.
Sid King with the National Weather Service in Peachtree City said it usually gets pretty hot around this time of year, but this heatwave is a little different.
“We’re about five degrees warmer than average right now,” King said. “The averages are already hot enough this time of year that with a bit more humidity and just a little bit more heat, the heat index values can reach into the triple digits.”
He said the large value of water in the atmosphere has made things worse.
“It’s a lot of the high humidity that’s the major contributor to these high heat index values,” he said.
That could also lead to severe weather.
“And with that deep moisture when you get these summertime afternoon thunderstorms there’s a lot of moisture for them to work with,” King said. “So, a lot of them can produce some heavy rain.”
To beat the heat, the NWS recommends drinking plenty of water, staying out of direct sunshine and seeking air-conditioned places when possible. It’s also advised to wear lightweight and loose-fitting clothing.
King said the elderly, young and people with heart conditions are at the most risk.
It’s also important for people to know the signs of a heat stroke which, according to WebMD, usually occurs when body temperature reaches 104 degrees. Some symptoms include fainting, dizziness, lack of sweating, or muscle cramps.
Schools And Heat
The heat wave gripping Georgia means stricter practice guidelines for student athletes.
Coach Spoon Risper leads the football program at Westside High School in Macon and has coached there for more than two decades.
"It's not the old school style of coaching where you get water every blue moon," Risper said. "These days we can never be too careful. At the end of the day, they are children and their safety comes first."
Georgia High School Association rules require schools to record temps every hour and move practice indoors if necessary. GHSA also sets guidelines for when athletes can wear certain amounts of equipment and when breaks must be taken.
According to the Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention, some 9,000 high school athletes suffer heat related injuries each year.
Earlier this year, Georgia's House voted to form a committee to study heat related injuries for Georgia students.
Many schools districts have returned to school alredy amid the heat wave. For Atlanta Public Schools, any student with a medical condition must be places on an air conditioned bus.
Most buses don't hav A/C, like in Fulton County. But officials there said students are allowed to bring water bottles on board and they usually aren't on the bus for longer than 25 minutes.