Summer officially begins Saturday, but the first heat wave of the year was already evident Tuesday as local temperatures climbed above the 90-degree mark.
"It's definitely hotter than usual for this time of year. The high temperature in the Marietta area will be up into the 90s through Thursday, but then it's only expected to drop to 89," said meteorologist Liz Sommerville with the National Weather Service in Charleston, W.Va.
She added that the daily highs should continue at least in the upper and mid-80s through next Tuesday and possibly beyond, although rainstorms can also be expected on most of those days.
SAM SHAWVER The Marietta Times
Players break to stay hydrated with a cool drink of water Tuesday during the 21st annual Cincinnati Reds Legends Youth Baseball Clinic at the Veterans of Foreign Wars ball field off Pike Street in Marietta.
"We're kind of fortunate to be getting some moisture coming up out of the Gulf of Mexico. It makes for more humidity, but the showers help keep things a bit cooler," Sommerville said. "And the overnight temperatures will be warmer, too, around 69 degrees."
The hot weather didn't stop the 21st annual Cincinnati Reds Legends Youth Baseball Clinic at the Veterans of Foreign Wars ball field off Pike Street in Marietta on Tuesday.
"It doesn't bother me that much. I'm used to it. I drink a lot of water, probably three or four bottles a day," said Jacob Thomas, 12, of Dart, who was among the 135 ball players participating in this year's clinic.
Prevent heat-related illness
Drink more fluids (nonalcoholic), regardless of your activity level. Don't wait until you're thirsty to drink.
Don't drink liquids that contain alcohol or large amounts of sugar. These cause you to lose more body fluid. Also, avoid very cold drinks, because they can cause stomach cramps.
Stay indoors and, if at all possible, stay in an air-conditioned place. If your home does not have air conditioning, go to the mall or public library-even a few hours spent in air conditioning can help your body stay cooler when you go back into the heat.
Electric fans may provide comfort, but when the temperature is in the high 90s, fans will not prevent heat-related illness. Taking a cool shower or bath, or moving to an air-conditioned place is a much better way to cool off.
Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing.
Never leave anyone in a closed, parked vehicle.
Check regularly on infants and young children; people aged 65 or older; people who have a mental illness; and those who are physically ill, especially with heart disease or high blood pressure
Visit adults at risk at least twice a day and closely watch them for signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Infants and young children need much more frequent monitoring.
Source: U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Today: A chance of showers and thunderstorms, mainly after 4 p.m. Partly sunny, with a high near 91.
Tonight: A chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 68.
Thursday: A chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy, high near 86.
Thursday night: A chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy, low around 68. .
Friday: A chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 87.
Camp director Mike Wagner said rain showers on Monday were a welcome relief from the heat.
"Everyone got their shirts wet and that helped cool them down," he said. "But I keep three drink stations constantly filled with water and the players have to take regular water breaks. We probably go through 95 to 100 gallons of water a day."
Hydration is important, according to Dr. Dan Breece, medical director for Marietta Memorial Hospital's emergency department.
"Make sure you're drinking water frequently and in good volumes," he said. "And anyone working or playing when it's hot should have routine rest cycles. Your body needs adequate rest. At least 10 to 15 minutes for every 30 minutes of work or play when it's very hot."
Breece said people should remember their pets, too, during hot weather, providing them with plenty of water and shade from the sun.
So far this year the emergency room hasn't seen many people with heat-related illnesses.
"But we will, especially during the local fairs and festivals when more people will be out in the sun," Breece said.
He said many cases of heat exhaustion are treated every year, but heat stroke is a major concern.
People suffering from heat exhaustion may feel dizzy, light-headed, or even nauseous with stomach cramps.
But Breece said heat stroke causes an altered mental state, and can occur in one of two ways.
"The first is from over-exertion. You're out playing ball or working in the heat," he said. "The other often occurs when an elderly person may sit in an apartment with no ventilation or air conditioning during hot weather. They basically cook, and that's the worst kind of heat stroke."
Breece said relatives or neighbors should check regularly on older folks during heat waves.
Lt. Michael Dietsch with the Marietta Fire Department said the department has not responded to any heat-related medical problems so far, but provided some tips for those who have to be outdoors in the heat.
"Do your work in the morning or later in the evenings," he said. "If you're working in the heat you should drink at least a bottle of water every hour, especially if it's strenuous work."
He said light-colored clothing should be worn-the lighter the better-to reflect the rays of the sun.
"Take regular breaks and get out of the sun. That's really important," Dietsch said. "Use sunscreen, and if you're sweating a lot, reapply it regularly."
He said watch for signs of dehydration.
"If you feel cramping, get out of the sun immediately, quit working. If you're dehydrating you'll feel really fatigued and may be sweating profusely," Dietsch said. "And if you stop sweating you're in trouble. Get to the hospital right away."
Local contractor Mike Dye was working with his crew patching the parking lot behind the Lafayette Hotel Tuesday morning.
"We sweat a lot," he said. "But I always keep a water cooler on hand, and try very hard to do work in the mornings which is better than in the afternoon when the temperature will be in the 90s."
But Dye said he's trying not to complain much about the hot weather.
"I promised myself not to complain about the heat, at least until next month, because we had such a long, cold winter," he said.