The NWS expects storms and extreme heat to head into Iowa on Friday
National Weather Service He issued the advisory on Thursday afternoon Iowans warned that the extreme heat and humidity felt across the state this week is expected to continue, and possibly worsen, on Friday.
Much of central and southwestern Iowa, which includes Des Moines, Fort Dodge and Council Bluffs, will be under a heat warning on Friday. The southeastern part of the state will be under an extreme heat warning, according to the National Weather Service.
Andrew Ansorgen, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Des Moines, said the extreme heat warning means temperatures will be hotter in that area, but he said residents will likely face above-average temperatures no matter where. Where they live in Iowa.
“All the precautions you’ll want to take like drinking plenty of water, taking breaks if you’re outside or going inside to turn on the air conditioning to take a break — all of that will apply regardless of whether you’re indoors or not,” he said. “Excessive heat.”
The warning states that the heat index, which combines forecast temperatures and humidity, is expected to reach 105 degrees or higher across a large swath of the state. In Des Moines, the heat index is expected to reach 109 degrees by 3 p.m. Friday.
Fortunately, Iowans will start to feel some relief as temperatures are likely to drop heading into the weekend, according to the National Weather Service.
more:Ragbrai riders feel the heat as triple-digit heat indexes sweep across Iowa, the Midwest
High temperatures accompanied by sporadic storms
With temperatures rising above 100 degrees, isolated storms are likely across much of the state starting at 3pm on Friday and continuing until midnight.
A storm front heading toward Iowa from the north could bring strong winds, large hail and heavy rain, Ansorgen said. Tornadoes are unlikely, but winds could reach 70 mph, according to the National Weather Service.
Hospitals treat some patients for heat-related illnesses
Thursday saw mild and humid weather, with the heat index reaching 100 degrees, meaning local hospitals were prepared to care for patients suffering from heat.
Mark Tauschik, spokesman for UnityPoint Health, said its three metro hospitals treated six patients from Wednesday through Thursday morning for heat-related illnesses. He said they also treated 28 RAGBRAI riders for injuries ranging from bee sting and head injury to heat exhaustion and broken bones. Broadlawns Medical Center treated four patients in the emergency room for heat-related issues, all of whom were at RAGBRAI, according to spokesman Steve Johnson.
Polk County is also providing cooling centers throughout the metro under the Emergency Management Agency’s extreme temperature plan, which is in effect through Friday. A list of cooling centers can be found on its website. DART will provide free rides to cooling centers.
Beat the heat
Dealing with excessive heat for several days can have a “cumulative effect” on people’s health, Ansorgne warned.
“The effects of heat on health can accumulate over time, so people will want to continue to practice these precautions, such as drinking plenty of water, taking frequent breaks if you are outside…,” he said.
Here are some tips from the National Weather Service and Polk County Health Department to stay safe in the heat:
- Stay hydrated. Don’t wait until you feel thirsty to drink water and avoid alcoholic drinks and caffeine as they can dehydrate you.
- Take frequent breaks in the shade or indoors. Spend at least two hours in air conditioning every day. Try to avoid being outdoors from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., when the weather tends to be the hottest.
- Checking on the elderly and those who do not have air conditioning
- Never leave children or pets unattended in vehicles. Look before you close.
- Limit strenuous outdoor activities
Francesca Block is a breaking news reporter at the Des Moines Register. Contact her at FBlock@registermedia.com or on Twitter at@francescablock3.