Friday, May 25 is Heat Awareness Day in Michigan - WNEM TV 5

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Friday, May 25 is Heat Awareness Day in Michigan

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Friday, May 25 is Heat Awareness Day in Michigan. Since we have been experiencing temperatures in the 70s and 80s we want everyone to remember the dangers of excessive heat and heat safety. 

Here are some facts about extreme heat.

  • In the U.S., about 120 people die each year from extreme heat.
  • Michigan averages about 5 heat related deaths a year.
  • Heat deaths and injuries are typically under reported.
  • Most heat related deaths are adults over the age of 40 and the deaths occur in their homes.
  • Every location in Michigan has experienced 100 degree heat sometime in the past.
  • Metro Detroit experiences about twelve 90+ degree days per year.
  • Southern Lower Michigan experiences seven to twelve 90+ degrees days per year.
  • Northern Lower Michigan and the Upper Peninsula experience about five 90+ degree days per year.
  • Warm nights with temperatures above 70° hinders the body’s ability to cool. This creates even more heat stress the following day.

You may hear the term Heat Index in the weather reports, but WHAT IS THE HEAT INDEX?

The Heat Index (HI) is a measure of how hot the weather actually feels to the body based on air temperature and relative humidity. Exposure to full sun can increase heat index values by as much as 15°F. Strong winds, particularly those accompanying very hot, dry air, can be extremely hazardous, as wind increases heat to the body. 


  • The temperature inside a vehicle can rise 20 degrees in 10 minutes and 50  degrees in an hour, even when outside air temperatures are in the 70's.
  • The inside of a car acts like a greenhouse, where actual temperatures inside the vehicle can reach 120°F in minutes and approach 150°F in as little as an hour.
  • This can cause hyperthermia (heat stroke) in only minutes, particularly in children, whose body temperatures warm at a rate three to five times faster than an adult.
  • Studies have shown that "cracking the windows" provides little (if any) relief.

What can I do to stay safe during hot weather?

Following some simple safety tips can help prevent heat related problems:

  • Stay out of the sun. (sunburn makes the job of heat dissipation more difficult)
  • Spend as much time as possible in air conditioning. If you do not have an air conditioner, go to an air-conditioned public building, like a library.
  • Slow down. (reduce, eliminate, or reschedule physical activities for a cooler time of the day)
  • Drink plenty of water, even if you do not feel thirsty. Do not drink any alcohol, including beer.
  • Dress in lightweight and light colored clothes. This will reflect the sunlight and heat.
  • Eat smaller meals and less proteins.
  • Do not take salt tablets unless specified by a physician.

It has been several years since Southeast Michigan has experienced an extreme heat event which may lead to a more susceptible population. Our last issued Excessive Heat Warning was in 2013 and we haven't had an Heat Advisory since the year 2016. Stay with TV5 for the First Warn 5 forecast and click here for the current forecast.

Courtesy: NOAA, National Weather Service

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