Beaufort News

A new milestone for heat in Beaufort County area

Hilton Heat beaches buzzing despite record heat

The morning of Aug. 1, 2016, was the 40th consecutive day of 90-plus-degree temperatures in Beaufort County, and Coligny Beach on Hilton Head Island was buzzing. Visitors and locals talked about beating the heat, and Hilton Head Hospital emergency
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The morning of Aug. 1, 2016, was the 40th consecutive day of 90-plus-degree temperatures in Beaufort County, and Coligny Beach on Hilton Head Island was buzzing. Visitors and locals talked about beating the heat, and Hilton Head Hospital emergency

A record-hot summer continues to notch milestones in the Beaufort County area. And there doesn’t appear to be any immediate relief in sight.

Tuesday marked the record-tying 56th consecutive day of the temperature reaching at least 90 degrees in Savannah, according to the National Weather Service. Those records date back to 1874. Savannah is the service’s closest station to Beaufort County.

The warm stretch matches one ending July 14, 2011, and will become a record if temperatures reach 90 degrees Wednesday.

“It will be a little while before we see temperatures not consistently reaching above 90,” said Pete Mohlin, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Charleston.

Little rain could be a factor in temperatures staying hotter, he said. The Savannah area experienced its second driest month ever in July, with only 1.21 inches of rain.

There were only seven days of measurable rainfall at the Savannah station in July, and five days of rain in August through Monday, Mohlin said.

Some more facts about the recent hot spell:

▪ Tuesday marked the 25th consecutive day with a minimum recorded temperature of at least 75 degrees at Charleston International Airport. That continues to shatter the previous record stretch of 16 days in 2011.

▪ July was the warmest month ever recorded in Charleston, the National Weather Service reported. The average temperature of 86.2 degrees edged a 30-year-old record.

▪ The 86.1-degree average in Savannah last month was the second-warmest month recorded in the city. In July 1993, the average temperature reached 86.7 degrees.

Area doctors warned this month of how quickly heat illness comes on and to seek emergency attention if symptoms include severe headaches, dizziness, fainting or lack of sweat.

Heat illnesses seem to be more common this summer and affect all ages, said Angie Garcia, a registered nurse and director of critical care services at Coastal Carolina Hospital in Hardeeville. Hospital patients have included older people playing pickleball to school-age children who overheat playing a sport, she said.

The common thread is prolonged exposure to heat and not drinking enough, Garcia said. She encouraged drinking water or a sports drink before, during and after an activity and avoiding ice water so body temperature doesn’t drop too quickly.

Patients are treated by slowly bringing down body temperature and replenishing fluids, said Garcia, who oversees the hospital’s emergency department.

Dehydration can also happen quickly in pets, said Marikay Campbell, a veterinarian at Port Royal Veterinary Hospital. Dogs and cats can also blister their feet on hot pavement, and they are at risk of quickly suffering a heat stroke if left in a car when the temperature is warmer than 70 degrees.

The California Emergency Management Agency visits the SPCA of Sacramento to learn how to spot unhealthy signs of heat stress in animals and how to keep them safe in the hot summer months.

Lethargy, disorientation, not panting and not responding when called are signs a pet is suffering from a heat illness. A veterinarian should be called immediately, Campbell said.

And the owner should wet the animal with lukewarm water — not an ice bath.

Campbell said she has had a couple of cases this year of pets playing too hard, too long outside in the heat. The animals were sent to Charleston Veterinary Referral Center for more intensive care, she said.

The morning of Aug. 1, 2016, was the 40th consecutive day of 90-plus-degree temperatures in Beaufort County, and Coligny Beach on Hilton Head Island was buzzing. Visitors and locals talked about beating the heat, and Hilton Head Hospital emergency

Stephen Fastenau: 843-706-8182, @IPBG_Stephen

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