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Volume 69, Issue 154, Thursday, July 15, 2004


Staff Editorial


                            Matt Dulin                             Tony Hernandez 
                Jim Parsons             Dusti Rhodes           Richard Whitrock


Boy, it's a hot one

Thermometers around the city are creeping painfully near the 100-degree mark -- a hot, sticky reminder that Houston won't shake its summertime shtick.

With humidity in the B-plus range, today's high in the upper 90s will feel more like a pre-heating oven in the low 100s. 

We should be thankful, though. It could be hotter, as it was in 2000, when the mercury hit 103 degrees.

We should also be careful. The heat's here to stay, so brew that iced tea and lather on the sunscreen. Better yet, stay indoors. Your tan can wait. 

In fact, it would probably be a good idea to not drive or leave the house for any reason. Call it summer hibernation. Turn the air conditioning to the lowest setting and act like it's cold outside. Make hot chocolate and sing Christmas songs. Do anything to avoid encountering the oppressive misery that is Houston in July.

Realistically speaking, though, Houstonians should watch out for the usual suspects: dehydration, overheating and fatigue.

Experts recommend what should be common sense: drink plenty of water, wearing light, loose-fitting clothing and limit your activity during the hottest parts of the day, which in Houston ranges from the late morning to early evening. Unfortunately, many do not obey these basic measures and end up suffering more than they should.

Even the most healthy among us are susceptible to heat-related illness and injury. Watch out for signs of fatigue -- headaches, muscle cramps and excessive perspiration -- they may indicate a serious condition and shouldn't be ignored.

Temperatures are expected to remain in the upper 90s throughout the week, and you can expect these conditions to be the norm for much of July and August.

What did you expect? Relief?


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