Extreme Heat

Summer 2024 is shaping up to be a warm one, and here at RHHD, we know that extreme heat is a public health issue. In Virginia, more people receive care for heat-related illnesses when the temperatures climb to 86 degrees and higher—and we’re already seeing those kinds of temperatures.

The first step to protect yourself and your loved ones against heat-related illness is knowing when to take action. You can begin tracking extreme heat through the National Weather Service’s HeatRisk mapping tool. Knowing a few key terms will help you respond to extreme heat as it takes effect:

  • Heat Index: Our bodies get warmer the more humid it is, so the heat index measures both air temperature and relative humidity.
  • Excessive Heat Outlooks: Issued by the National Weather Service when the potential exists for an excessive heat event in the next 3-7 days.
  • Excessive Heat Watches: Issued by the National Weather Service when conditions are favorable for an excessive heat in the next 24 to 72 hours.
  • Excessive Heat Warning/Advisories: Issued by the National Weather Service when an excessive heat is expected in the next 36 hours.

Paying attention to both the temperature and the heat index will help you make healthy decisions as our days get warmer and warmer. And keep an eye on this newsletter for heat-related advice all summer long.