100-plus temperatures abnormally high for June
Searing heat baked Baton Rouge again Tuesday with the temperature reaching 101 degrees, breaking the record for June 26 set in 1930, according to the National Weather Service.
On Monday, the temperature also hit 101 degrees, National Weather Service forecaster Shawn O’Neil said Tuesday.
O’Neil called the temperatures abnormally high for June.
A ridge of high pressure building in the high Plains states that is moving down toward Louisiana, O’Neil said. The high-pressure system blocks clouds and rain that usually keep 100 degree temperatures at bay, he said.
Many parts of Texas, Colorado and Kansas also reported temperatures well above 100 degrees this week, according to The Associated Press. In Texas, power demand was expected to break a record for June, and Kansas was under heat-related warnings and at risk for fires.
The high temperature on Wednesday is forecast to reach 99 degrees and will slowly recede, moving to the low 90s as the week progresses, O’Neil said.
The sweltering temperatures mean residents should stay inside to keep cool and drink lots of water to avoid heat-related illness, such as heat exhaustion, heat cramps and heat stroke, as well as take frequent breaks and dress appropriately if they must be outside, according to the American Red Cross.
Mark Olson, a spokesman for East Baton Rouge Parish Emergency Medical Services, said paramedics usually will see an increase in heat-related illness calls when the temperatures rise substantially.
Paramedics received one call on Sunday for a heat-related emergency and three heat-related calls on Monday, Olson said.
The record heat has moved the East Baton Rouge Parish Council on Aging into early action this year as the group moved up its annual box fan and window air conditioning unit drive.
The drive is usually done in August but the city-parish group will start handing out box fans and window units Wednesday to seniors who are in need, said Shontell LeBeouf, director of operations for the East Baton Rouge Parish Council on Aging.
LeBeouf said the group already has more than 100 box fans and 50 window units to hand out.
“But we still need donations because they will go fast,” LeBeouf said.
LeBeouf’s group also tries to assist seniors with finding utility bill payment help, she said.
The Council on Aging also operates 18 senior centers and sitting sites throughout the parish where residents can escape the heat and enjoy some air conditioning.
Michael Acaldo, chief executive officer of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, said his group has seen increased requests for shelter as well as drinks from the Dining Room as a result of the hot temperatures of the last few days.
Acaldo said on days like Tuesday, St. Vincent de Paul will receive anywhere from 10 to 15 extra requests for temporary shelter because of the heat.
The Dining Room, which usually serves a total of 600 lunches and dinners a day, sees an average of a 10 to 15 percent increase in meals when temperatures reach into the 100s.
“Of course the meals are important but many times people want something to drink and refills. And we certainly want to do whatever we can do to keep people hydrated,” Acaldo said.
Acaldo also said the numbers he has seen over the last couple of days are normal numbers in August.
For safety tips, visit www.batonrouge.redcross.org/news/use-caution-during-heat-wave.