Extreme heat and humidity expected in Frederick County for much of this week has caused activities to be canceled and schedules to change.
Temperatures in the mid-to-high 90s, with a heat index over 100 degrees, are set to continue in Frederick County through Thursday, National Weather Service meteorologist Eric Taylor said Tuesday.
Then the weather should cool down, Taylor said, with the possibility of rain or thunderstorms Thursday, Friday and Saturday, which should bring some cool air.
Next week temperatures are expected to reach the 70s or 80s.
Taylor said that while current temperatures are about 10 degrees warmer than normal for this time of year, hot temperatures are not unusual in the Frederick County area in September or even in October.
More than 600 people in the United States die from extreme heat each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Extreme heat mostly affects the very young and elderly, as well as people with mental illnesses or chronic illnesses, according to the CDC.
However, even young and healthy people can be affected if they exert themselves in the heat.
The heat has caused Frederick County Public Schools athletic events and practices to be postponed or rescheduled for at least Tuesday and Wednesday.
“Dealing with excessive heat and humidity is something FCPS takes very seriously,” Kevin Kindrew, superintendent of athletics and extracurricular activities, said Tuesday.
Kendrew said he and others made the decision on Monday not to allow activities to begin on Tuesday and Wednesday before 7 p.m.
The decision on Thursday’s events will be made on Wednesday.
The school system has a sports medicine advisory committee made up of local medical professionals who provide guidance on safe procedures for dealing with extreme heat, Kendrew said.
He added that all trainers also receive a week-long course on injury prevention that includes training in heat-related illnesses.
City spokesperson Allen Itzler wrote in an email Tuesday that the heat is not expected to result in any operational changes in the City of Frederick.
But he said all employees who work outdoors are trained on how to manage extreme temperatures, warning signs of heat-related illness, and how to keep themselves and others safe.
Supervisors in the city’s operations and parks departments have an app created by OSHA and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Itzler writes, that provides reminders to take water and shade breaks.
He wrote that the app also provides an hourly forecast of temperatures for the next 24 hours, so supervisors can schedule more strenuous work during colder times.
County spokeswoman Vivian Laxton wrote in an email Tuesday that departments of Frederick County government with employees who work outside recognize the need to limit employees’ exposure to heat and make sure everyone stays hydrated during extreme heat.
She wrote that residents are encouraged to visit public buildings, such as libraries, community centers and retail establishments, or to stay with friends or family if they do not have access to air conditioning at home.
State Highway Department spokesman Daniel Allman wrote in an email Tuesday that the state highway department is allowing crews extra rest periods in their trucks or in the shade on exceptionally hot days, and is stocking extra water coolers.
He wrote that they also try to limit stressful activities and may put off some work, ask crews to come in early or do indoor training instead of doing exercises on the road in the heat.