Mid-June heat wave sure feels like summer

By Steve Phillips - bio | email

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Summer doesn't officially arrive until Sunday, but it's certainly getting an early start. All this week we've seen near record temperatures and oppressive heat indexes.

Employees who work in an air conditioned office don't have to worry.  But it's a different story for those who labor outdoors.

"Sunny this afternoon. The highs ranging from 95 along the beaches to 98 inland," blared the radio weather forecast late Friday morning.

It's been this way all week. Hot temperatures and sweltering sun. No rainfall in sight. A mid-June heat wave has South Mississippi in its sweaty grip.

So, how would you like to be laying down blacktop beneath the sweltering sun?

"Right now you're looking at the asphalt here it's about 300 degrees. Then we got 95 or 98 degrees coming from the sky. So we're working with about 400 degrees of temperature," said Geo Pave worker Dre Fairley.

That means plenty of Gatorade and water breaks. Fairley and his fellow workers were sweating plenty as they laid the driveway and parking lot at the new Beth Israel Synagogue in Gulfport.

"Oh yes, that's good for you," said Daniel Battle, talking about all that sweating, "It's good for the body."

Construction crews manage to adjust when the heat index moves into the danger zone.

"About 120 degrees in the afternoons," said backhoe operator Rusty Jeter.

Jeter said that's how hot the work site can feel.  He's part of the crew laying water and sewer pipes in West Gulfport.

"You've got to look out for your men. Make sure they've got plenty of water. Stuff like that. Just make sure they ain't looking dizzy," he said.

The heat has been so bad this week, even the beach vendors have noticed.

"It's very hot. I don't like working in it sometimes," said Jesse Tillery, "We get a breeze every now and then."

When the afternoon sun gets too oppressive, the vendors do have some relief nearby.

"Jump on a jet ski," said Devon Pattison, "It works."

Not a bad idea on this feels-like-summer-Friday afternoon.

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