Extreme heatwave on the way: It's going to very hot in Indiana starting Sunday

Indiana and the surrounding region will experience excessive heat and humidity this coming week.
Indiana and the surrounding region will experience excessive heat and humidity this coming week.

A week-long heatwave is hitting Bloomington, with peak temperatures forecasted to hover around the mid-90s starting Sunday. Combined with relative humidity, some days next week will feel over 100 degrees.

Forecasts show a rising level of heat risk throughout the week due to sustained and extreme temperatures. Spending too much time outdoors will pose a risk for everyone, but will especially affect older adults, children and people with pre-existing conditions.

Between cooling stations and free pool admission, here’s everything you need to know about staying safe in Monroe County this week.

Is this heat typical for June in Indiana?

Weeks this hot are “rather abnormal” for June, Indianapolis National Weather Service meteorologist Greg Melo said.

The average high for this point in the summer is 82 degrees, he said, while the mid-90s temperatures expected next week are more common in late summer.

Driving the high temperatures is a “heat dome,” a heat-trapping high-pressure ridge hovering above much of the country. Melo said domes such as this create a dry heat, but this one will draw moisture from the Gulf of Mexico as it moves east, contributing to dew points that make people feel even hotter.

Climate change is also a factor in the increasing frequency and intensity of heat waves, which will only continue to rise. According to the World Health Organization, heat-related mortality for those 65 or older increased by 85% between the years 2000-2004 and 2017-2021.

How can I stay safe in the Indiana heatwave?

The best way to stay safe next week is to stay inside or at cooling stations, but if you must be outside, try to wear lightweight, loose-fitting clothing and stay hydrated, both before and during your time outdoors. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends avoiding sugary beverages and alcohol, which can dehydrate.

Those who work in industries such as manufacturing, agriculture and construction should ensure they properly acclimatize by slowly increasing their exposure to heat, especially if they’re new to the job. This process improves tolerance to heat by increasing sweating efficiency and reducing stress on the heart and other organs. It’s also critical for workers to take breaks in air-conditioned areas to avoid heat exhaustion or heat stroke.

Heat-related illnesses happen when the body is not able to properly cool itself. While the body normally cools itself by sweating, during extreme heat, this might not be enough. In these cases, a person’s body temperature rises faster than it can cool itself down. This can cause damage to the brain and other vital organs.
Heat-related illnesses happen when the body is not able to properly cool itself. While the body normally cools itself by sweating, during extreme heat, this might not be enough. In these cases, a person’s body temperature rises faster than it can cool itself down. This can cause damage to the brain and other vital organs.

Early symptoms of heat exhaustion to watch out for include sweating, fatigue, dizziness, nausea and headaches.

During a heatwave, it’s especially dangerous to leave children and pets in the car. A 2018 study found it would only take around an hour for a 2-year-old child sitting in a parked car on a hot summer day to suffer heat stroke. In certain conditions, an hour under the sun can create temperatures as high as 160 degrees in the car.

Excessive heat killed an average of 158 people in the U.S. each year from 1992 to 2021 – far deadlier than tornadoes, floods and hurricanes.

How can I keep cool in Monroe County?

There will be eight cooling stations across the county open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. June 16-20.

  • Bloomington Fire Station 1 (Headquarters): 226 S. College Ave.

  • Ellettsville Fire Department Headquarters: 5080 W. State Road 46

  • Monroe Fire Protection District Station 22 - Perry: 3953 S. Kennedy Drive

  • Monroe Fire Protection District Station 21 - Clear Creek: 9094 S. Strain Ridge Road

  • Monroe Fire Protection District Station 23 - Indian Creek: 8019 S. Rockport Road

  • Monroe Fire Protection District Station 25 - Bloomington: 5081 N. Old State Road 37

  • Monroe Fire Protection District Station 29 - Van Buren: 2130 S. Kirby Road

  • Monroe Fire Protection District Station 24 - Benton: 7606 E. State Road 45

Monroe Fire Protection District stations 21 and 29 are the only locations that allow pets, which must be in a kennel or carrier.

Free admission to city pools in Bloomington

Besides the cooling stations, the “Stay Cool Bloomington” Initiative will offer free swimming at Bryan Park and Mills Pools, open 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., when the heat risk is category two or higher.

This category of heat risk is used when the heat is expected to affect most heat-sensitive individuals and may impact health systems or heat-sensitive industries. The NWS forecasts a level two heat risk on Sunday with central and southern Indiana moving into a level three and four later in the week.

Splash pad: Monroe Parks and Rec says Karst Farm Park splash pad will reopen mid-June

A level three heat risk affects anyone without adequate cooling and hydration, with impacts likely in health systems, infrastructure and heat-sensitive industries. Level four is similar, described by the NWS as a “level of rare and/or long-duration extreme heat with little to no overnight relief.”

The city will update the admission status of the pools by 11 a.m. each morning on the city’s Parks and Recreation Facebook page as well as the pool’s website.

Reach Marissa Meador at mmeador@gannett.com.

This article originally appeared on The Herald-Times: Extreme heat coming to Bloomington, Indiana starting Sunday

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