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Heatwave withering South Plains residents

Slaton and the rest of the South Plains have withered under the near record-breaking high temperatures through the week, and hopes for a reprieve will not be forthcoming next week.

According to the National Weather Service, temperatures have topped 100 degrees each day this week.

A high of 104 is predicted for Thursday (May 31) and June will kick off Friday with a high of 106. Also Friday, there is a 20 percent chance of thunderstorms in the late afternoon. The NWS reports that Thursday and Friday could bring record-high temperatures across much of the region.

NWS historical records show temperatures up to 20 degrees hotter than the average for this time of year.

A cold front is expected to move into the area over the weekend to bring a measure of relief, with a high of 94 expected on Sunday before the mercury rises to near triple digits again on Monday, with a high of 97 in the forecast.

While it remains unseasonably hot for late spring, City of Slaton work crews are already working the summer schedule, arriving at 7 a.m. and knocking off at 4 p.m. City Administrator Mike Lamberson said that crews are given breaks and encouraged to stay hydrated throughout the day.

The Center for Disease Control recommends wearing light, loose-fitting clothing during extreme heat and to pace oneself with work or exercise in the heat and to relegate those activities to cooler hours in the morning and at night. Sunscreen protection is a must if outside during extended periods and to stay indoors in air conditioning if possible.

Parents are also reminded to never leave their children or pets unattended in a vehicle, even with the windows down.

Heat is not the only danger during the spring months, with last weekend’s hailstorm the first severe weather the community has experienced this year. And while spring storms bring much-needed precipitation to the drought-stricken South Plains, power outages, like the one two weeks ago in Slaton, are a hazard due to high winds associated with the storms.

Power outages are especially worrisome during the heat of summer. Residents with heat sensitivity should have an alternate plan should the power be down for an extended period. Residents on life support systems also should have a plan in place for relocating during an outage.

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