MOUNTAIN AREA — As temperatures continued to climb today, the National Weather Service in Hanford extended the Excessive Heat Warning through Friday, June 23 at 11 p.m. The warning is for the San Joaquin Valley and Mariposa, Madera And Fresno County Foothills, including the cities of Oakhurst and Mariposa.
Afternoon temperatures in some areas will be between 107 degrees and 114 degrees through Thursday, says the NWS. High temperatures Friday will be between 105 degrees and 112 degrees.
Prolonged exposure to these temperatures will increase the risk of heat related illnesses such as heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Children, the elderly, and people with chronic respiratory ailments are the most susceptible to heat related illness. Pets, crops, and livestock may also require extra care through the hot weather.
Additionally, area rivers are potentially life threatening sources to seek cooling relief from the heat as the waters in them are deep, swift and very cold.
Take extra precautions, say experts, if you work or spend time outside. Shelter yourself from the hot sun if possible and schedule strenuous physical work outside to the early morning or evening hours. Wear light colored, loose fitting clothing if possible. Remain hydrated and drink plenty of water. Know the signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke.
An Excessive Heat Warning means that a prolonged period of dangerously hot temperatures will occur. Prolonged exposure to extreme heat can lead to heat exhaustion or heat stroke.
Young children and pets should never be left unattended in vehicles under any circumstances. Look before you lock! The temperature inside of a car on a hot day can climb to lethal
levels in a matter of minutes.
The National Weather Service also warns that fast flowing cold water in area rivers and streams is deadly right now. With record-breaking heat across the Central California Interior, rivers, lakes and streams are at very high levels due to the extensive winter snow pack melting at a very fast rate.
As we enter the summer recreation season, the National Weather Service reminds people of the hidden dangers of the cold snow melt waters feeding Central California waterways.
These rivers, streams and reservoirs are directly fed from the melting snowpack on the Sierra Nevada. Even though a stream or river looks cool and inviting, the water is actually very cold, ranging from 45 to 55 degrees Fahrenheit. Outdoor enthusiasts are advised to use extreme caution near rivers, streams and lakes. If possible please avoid these areas all together.
If you are planning to travel to area rivers and streams, remember that the fast flowing and very cold water is a deadly combination. Although afternoon temperatures are expected to be 100 to 115, water temperatures are in the upper 40s to lower 50s. Up to fifteen minutes exposure to water this cold could lead to hypothermia, and the fast flow of the river can easily carry a rafter or swimmer quickly downstream, which can and has led to drownings.
Hypothermia is a sudden loss of body temperature that can be fatal. Warning signs include uncontrolled shivering, slurred speech, drowsiness and apparent exhaustion. Even strong swimmers can tire quickly in the cold water. When you add a strong current and underwater debris, such as rocks, limbs and sharp objects, drowning becomes more likely.
River fluctuations can and will occur without notice. River levels can change very quickly depending on upstream dam releases and debris in the rivers and streams, creating partial blocking of the water flow. If you are only near the edge of the river or stream, you could slip and fall. Don`t turn your back on the river or stream.
Please have life vests handy and keep a close eye on children and pets near the river’s edge.