Jun 27, 2013 9:33 PM by John Patrick

Tucson preps for historic heat wave

TUCSON - Get ready for temperatures to soar above 110 for several days.

Over the next few days an area of high pressure will bring heat to Tucson that we haven't seen since 1995. Heat is the number one weather related killer nationwide being blamed for over 100 deaths in Arizona last year alone.

Dr. Kevin Reilly with the UA Emergency Medicine says that prevention is the key to staying safe during this heat wave. Stay in the shade or air conditioning as much as possible and keep your body well hydrated. Dr. Reilly suggests something salty to go with your water to replenish what you lose from sweating.

"If you get dizzy or light headed those are some signs of dehydration. If you become confused that's a real warning sign. That's someone who needs to come into the emergency department," explains Dr. Reilly.

While we do everything we can to keep ourselves cool don't forget about man's best friend. Jeff Carver with Pima Animal Care Center says water, shade and shelter are three things required by law to help keep your pet cool.

Even in this extreme heat Carver says the still gets about a dozen calls a day about dogs being left inside vehicles. Making this mistake can land you two thousand dollar fine.

Carver says, "In minutes the temperature inside your car can reach 160 degrees and basically cooks your dog."

A good way to tell if it's too hot for your dog to be outside is to hold your hand on the ground for 15 seconds. If you can't take that heat than it's too hot for your dog's pads as well.

Not only can your dog's feet get burned in this heat but your plants can burn as well. Matt Smit from Silverbell Nursery says your plants will show signs of heat stress by yellowing or wilting.

"You will actually see the leaf fold up like taco and it's trying to reduce the surface area that is hitting the sunlight," explains Smit

Smit says that most plants and trees can take this kind of heat but you want double the amount of water to help them get through. By running your drip system for two hours water will get deeper in the ground and won't evaporate as fast.

Excessive Heat Warnings have been posted by the National Weather Service for the Tucson metro from noon Friday until Sunday night at 9pm.


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