Heat index may reach 115 degrees today

HARLINGEN — A heat advisory is in effect for much of Cameron and Willacy counties this afternoon with index values expected to soar between 110 and 115 degrees.

The National Weather Service in Brownsville issued the alert for the hours between 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. today.

Temperatures this afternoon in Harlingen are expected to hit 100 degrees, with Brownsville forecast to reach 96 degrees. Up the Valley, McAllen’s forecast is for 102 degrees today and Rio Grande City is expected to bake at 106 degrees.

Weather officials warn residents of Harlingen, Raymondville, South Padre Island, Brownsville and other cities along coastal and inland Cameron and Willacy counties they are at risk of heat stroke, heat cramps and heat exhaustion due to the combination of temperatures and humidity.

A heat advisory is issued when the heat index — a measure of how it feels when temperature and humidity are combined — equals or exceeds 111 for two hour or longer during the day, and night-time temperatures remain 75 degrees or higher for two straight days.

The weather service recommends that if you have to be outdoors, wear lightweight and light-colored clothing, hydrate and avoid alcoholic beverages.

The elderly, the very young, the sick and those with heart conditions are at an especially high risk from heat-related injuries.

Also, the weather service warns, do not leave children or pets unattended in vehicles even for a few minutes. Temperatures inside a car can become lethal in that time, rising above 130 degrees.

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