A combination of temperatures in the 90s and high humidity have put much of southern Wisconsin under a heat advisory until Tuesday night.
Heat indices are expected to reach 105 degrees in some areas, said Molly Peters, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service office in La Crosse. The area under advisory stretches from Vernon County southward to Grant County, and eastward to the Milwaukee area.
The advisory is intended to let people know that high heat and humidity can be dangerous, Peters said.
"Heat is one of the No. 1 killers when it comes to hazardous weather, so we don't want to underestimate it even though it may just seem like a normal sunny summer day," she said.
Peters suggests limiting time outside and avoiding the day’s peak heat for tasks like mowing the lawn. She also recommends staying hydrated, and taking plenty of breaks in the shade.
The hot weather isn’t expected to stick around, Peters said, with forecasted temperatures about 10 degrees cooler Wednesday.
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"It’s still July weather," Peters said, just not dangerously hot.
Public health officials in Madison are urging people to take precautions with Tuesday’s heat.
"When you have these kinds of high temperatures that are coupled with high humidity, it can really have some effects on your health that can be dangerous," said Public Health Madison & Dane County communications coordinator Morgan Finke.
Weakness, dizziness, nausea, body aches and muscle cramps are all signs of heat-related illness, she said.
"If you start to experience those symptoms, cool off, get some water," she said. "And then if you don't get better, get to an emergency room."
Children, older people, people with chronic health conditions, and those working outdoors are the most at risk for heat-related health issues, she said. She recommends staying indoors in air conditioning during peak heat, adding that libraries, community centers and shopping malls are available for people who need a public place to cool off.
Finke also warned against leaving children and pets unattended in cars during the heat.
This isn’t the first heat advisory of the summer, Finke said, and it likely won’t be the last. Still, it’s important to take extreme heat seriously every time.
"Don't let your guard down just because you've heard it before," she said. "It's equally as important this time as it was the first time this summer."