For the second time this month, a heat wave is expected to roll through Butler County this weekend, prompting officials to warn about the dangers created by such conditions.
Heat indices for Friday and Saturday will reach at least 100 degrees, and Storm Center 7 meteorologists say lengthy exposure to this heat can lead to heat cramps, heat stroke or heat exhaustion.
An Excessive Heat Warning is in effect for the entire region from 2 p.m. Thursday to 8 p.m. Saturday.
The Lane Libraries will serve as cooling centers for the general public on Friday and Saturday. The libraries in Hamilton, Fairfield, and Oxford will be open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., which Butler County Emergency System Agency Director Matt Haverkos says covers the majority of the heat advisory.
“The libraries are spread out all over the county, which makes them good places to have as cooling centers,” Haverkos said.
The EMA will also work in coordination with the Salvation Army and the Red Cross, which will set up food and drinks, cooling chairs, and air conditioning trailers if needed.
This latest heat wave comes during a significantly warmer month for southwest Ohio. As of July 16, the average overall temperature for the month has been 79.3 degrees, which is 5.3 degrees warmer than the average in Dayton.
Storm Center 7 meteorologist Jesse Maag said that he cannot project whether this will be the hottest July on record for the county, but that this next wave will cause those numbers to jump much higher by the end of the month.
The sweltering warmth has kept fire departments busy this month, where emergency calls related to the heat have become more frequent. Hamilton Fire Chief Mark Mercer said in an earlier that there was a 37 percent increase in calls between June 27 and July 1, which he owed mostly to the intense heat.
So far the number of emergency calls has remained typical in Middletown says Fire Chief Paul Lolli, but he could see that changing this weekend. An excessive heat watch is in effect in Middletown until Sunday.
Lolli said that no extra crews have been prepared yet, which are usually called on when temperatures reach 100 degrees or 110 with heat index added. These decisions are primarily made by shift commanders.
“The most important tip I have is to not leave your children in the car without air conditioning,” said Lolli. “It seems like we get a call for this every year and it’s always tragic.”
Thursday: High of 92, Low of 73 with isolated showers
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