SOUTH MISSISSIPPI (WLOX) - All of South Mississippi is under a heat warning Tuesday but for some areas, the heat could be very dangerous.
The National Weather Service has issued an excessive heat warning, which is the highest-level hot weather alert that they issue. Dangerous heat is expected for all of coastal Mississippi but some parts, like Stone County and George County, could see temperatures that are exceptionally dangerous.
Highs will climb into the upper 90s but it will feel much hotter as the heat index rises. During the hottest part of the day - late morning to mid-afternoon - expect to feel a heat index of 107 to 112 degrees. For some areas near Wiggins and Lucedale, that heat index could exceed 112 degrees, leading to extreme danger.
There is a chance of rain in the afternoon hours which could bring typical summer storms ranging from scattered showers to thunderstorms across the coast.
Please take proper precautions if you will be outside for an extended time. Drink plenty of water and take frequent breaks in the air conditioning. If you are outside, try to stay out of the direct sun if possible. Even in the shade, a person outside all day is at a high risk of heat-related illness, like heat exhaustion or a heat stroke.
Heat stroke - which is often called a “silent killer” - killed more people in the U.S. last year than hurricanes, tornadoes, and lightning combined. It’s crucial that you know the signs of both heat exhaustion and heat stroke and know what to do if you suspect an illness like that is happening.
Feeling dizzy, excessive sweating, muscle cramps, and clammy, pale skin could mean that you are suffering from heat exhaustion. You should get to a cooler, air conditioned place, drink water, and take a cool shower or use a cool compress to help cool down if you are experiencing those symptoms.
Symptoms of a heat stroke include a throbbing headache, no sweating, nausea, red dry skin, and a body temperature over 103 degrees that could lead to a loss of consciousness. It should be treated as a medical emergency and 911 should be called immediately.