Heat Dangers to Accompany Oppressive Air Across the South

By Jordan Root, Meteorologist
August 23, 2014; 9:20 PM ET
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Play video Weather in the southeastern United States is covered in the above video.

As temperatures rise across the South through the weekend, so will the risk for heat-related dangers.

An area of high pressure is expected to remain anchored across the south-central United States over the next several days. As a result, a zone of sinking and warming air will settle in across the region.

Cities that will be sizzling in the heat include Little Rock, Arkansas; Jackson, Mississippi; Atlanta, Georgia; Tallahassee, Florida; Jacksonville, Florida; Savannah, Georgia; and Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Although heat is common across the South during a typical summer, the temperature balance has leaned more toward the cooler side during this summer season.

"The upcoming weather pattern may deliver some of the hottest weather this summer," said AccuWeather.com Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski.

Humidity levels will lead to an oppressive and stifling stretch of days that will last into at least the weekend, perhaps into next week for some areas.

It is believed that excessive heat and a high demand for power caused a major transformer to catch fire in the town of Ozark, Missouri on Thursday, disrupting electric service for more than 4,500 electric customers.

The heat and humidity combined will push AccuWeather RealFeel® Temperatures well above 105 F for many, bringing an increase in heat-related dangers for folks.

Those most at risk include the elderly and young children, although everybody can be affected by the heat.

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Anybody who plans on partaking in any outdoor activities will want to take the necessary actions to battle the sizzling stretch.

Drinking plenty of water will help to keep your body hydrated and cool. Alcoholic and caffeinated beverages are a poor choice when battling the heat.

Dressing in light-colored clothing will help reflect heat and sunlight, keeping the body cooler.

Changing what you eat will actually lower your risk for heat-illnesses as well. Foods like meat and other proteins increase body heat.

Although being outside in the oppressive heat can be dangerous, being inside a vehicle can turn deadly.

Never leave disabled adults, children or pets alone in a vehicle. Heat becomes trapped inside the vehicle, causing the temperature to rise rapidly in a short amount of time.

Make sure to check on the elderly often and don't forget about pets. Keep water dishes stocked with fresh and cold water and make sure they have shade if they are unable to be brought inside.

Dry weather will accompany the area of high pressure as thunderstorm chances are suppressed. The bulk of the storms will remain on the northern periphery of the high.

Some relief will come as the weekend draws to the end. A shot of cooler and less humid air will stream into the Southeast, eventually traveling farther west into the Mississippi Valley early next week.

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