With temperatures in the high 90s and low 100s, Kansas is seeing the effects of a heat wave it hadn't seen for two years. In Manhattan, the National Weather Service expects a 106-degree day Wednesday, July 19, and has issued a heat advisory valid through 5 p.m. Darrel Smith, meteorologist for Topeka's NWS, said the heat is similar to what Kansas temperatures should be, rather than last year's mild summer.

“It isn’t unusual,” Smith said. “Our last couple summers haven’t been the normal Kansas summers. When we get a pattern like we have now, people haven’t seen it and they think it is unusual. It isn’t, not many records will be broken.”

Even still, the heat is influencing most of the country. Temperatures in the East and desert Southwest are climbing and this leads to concern about possible wild fires, and lack of rain may increase the likelihood in parts of Kansas.

With the high temperatures come heat and sun related illnesses. Mercy Regional Health Center, 1823 College Ave., has seen a slight increase in the number of patients needing treatment for heat-related illnesses in the past week.

“Heat-related illnesses can build and cause problems,” said Larry Couchman, director of emergency services at Mercy.

“They need to take precautions up front rather than when you have symptoms. If you have symptoms, you’re behind the curve.” Simple things like drinking water and limiting exposure can go a long way. “Adequate fluids are important,” Couchman said.

“If they’re going to consume alcohol, it needs to be in moderation. I suggest one bottle of water per alcoholic beverage. Also wear sun block, a SPF 30 or 40. When they take a break, get into the shade and out of the sun.”


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