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Summer heats up in North Texas, but cool weather’s coming

The heat is back.

Washed out just a few days ago by a cold front and heavy rains, summer is taking hold in North Texas and forecasters say it’s going to be around for several days.

Thursday’s high temperature was 97 degrees at Dallas/Fort Worth Airport and Friday’s high is expected to be 98, prompting officials to keep a heat advisory in effect for most of North Texas until 10 p.m. Friday.

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality has also issued an ozone warning for the DFW area. High levels of ozone air pollution are expected and officials encourage residents to ride a bicycle, share a ride or walk.

Triple-digit temperatures hit North Texas for the first time on July 13 and again the next day, but a cold front blew in from the northwest last week, bringing with it rain and cooler temperatures and ending the first real heat wave in the area.

Now sizzling temperatures have returned.

MedStar officials responded to five heat-related calls in the area Wednesday. Two people were taken to John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth for treatment of heat-related disorders.

“For our staff, eight bottles of ice water are on every unit for the crew,” MedStar spokesman Matt Zavadsky said Thursday. “Supervisors have replenishment supplies as well, and they will deliver to them at hospitals.”

Forecasters and emergency care officials ask residents to check on people with health problems and the elderly who may suffer from heat exhaustion and heatstroke because of the high temperatures.

Salvation Army officials said Thursday that cooling stations remain open at 15 locations in a five-county area in the region. Three of them are in Tarrant County. The station at the Salvation Army shelter, 1855 E. Lancaster, in Fort Worth is open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. The stations at 712 W. Abram St. in Arlington and the facility at the Northside Corps, 3023 NW 24th St., in Fort Worth are open weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

“We will continue to have them available the rest of the summer,” said Pat Patey of The Salvation Army DFW on Thursday. “The stations provide hydration and a cool environment.”

Temperatures will be in the high 90s or at 100 for the next several days, including the weekend.

“The normal temperature at this time of year is 96 degrees,” said meteorologist Jesse Moore at the National Weather Service in Fort Worth. “So we will have some heat for the next few days.”

Rain chances will return Monday when forecasters say North Texas will have a 20 percent chance of precipitation.

A cold front arrives Tuesday, bringing with it much cooler temperatures and more rain chances.

Highs on Wednesday could be in the mid-80s to lower 90s with a 30 percent chance of rain.

SUMMER SAFETY

Residents out in the sun today could suffer from sunburn, heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heatstroke, which could be avoided by following a few safety rules:

• Learn symptoms of heat disorders and know how to give first aid.

• Reduce, eliminate or reschedule strenuous activities such as running, biking and lawn care work when it heats up.

• Eat small meals more often. Avoid foods that are high in protein because they increase metabolic heat.

• Avoid alcoholic beverages and beverages with caffeine such as coffee, tea and colas. Alcohol and caffeine constrict blood vessels near the skin reducing the amount of heat the body can release.

• Drink plenty of water and natural juices.

• Wear loose-fitting clothes that cover as much skin as possible.

• Stay out of the heat as much as possible. Spend time in air-conditioned areas.

Source: National Weather Service in Fort Worth

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