Havre Daily News - News you can use

By Tim Leeds 

Heat sets in to north-central Montana


A mild version of the heat sweltering most of the country finally set into north-central Montana over the weekend, with National Weather Service reporting a high Sunday at its station just west of Havre of 97 degrees.

Temperatures are expected to hit 90 or higher through Sunday, although the top forecast high — 96 today — does not reach the record temperature Sunday and are not near the records for Havre.

The forecast depends on the source, with The Weather Channel predicting a little higher today — 98 degrees — but slightly milder the rest of the week, with 95 Tuesday followed by highs of 92, 92 and 90.

AccuWeather.com predicts a high of 97 today, 98 Tuesday followed by top temperatures of 95, 94 and 94.

All three forecasts call for a chance of rain or thundershowers throughout most of the forecast.

Joe Parenteau, Hill County Disaster and Emergency Services coordinator, said this morning that county government will keep a close eye on the impact of the heat, and could start issuing fire restrictions if the conditions warrant.

"We are definitely into the season for (fires), and all it takes is the warmer temperatures and no rain and low humidity and the fuels that are out there will be ready to burn, " he said.

He added that the area still is fairly green and has some moisture.

"With the temperatures rising, that is drying quickly and the fuels will become a tinderbox like the rest of the state before long, " he said.

The county participates in a conference call with the state Department of Natural Resources and Conservation regional fire office each Tuesday. Parenteau said that each week the county government will make its determinations after that meeting, and could put fire restrictions in place if the county is getting too dry, Parenteau said.

"Hopefully, it will be a while before that happens but it is getting warm. Yesterday was a hot one, " he said.

The temperatures come after weeks of sweltering heat across the country, which has been attributed to causing numerous deaths.

A slight break in the heat in the east is expected to hit this week, although the temperatures in the west are expected to rise.

The Associated Press reports that today the Southeast will rise into the 90s and 100s, while the Northeast will see temperatures in the 70s and 80s. The Southwest will rise into the 100s and 110s, while the Northwest will see temperatures in the 90s and some 100s. Temperatures in the Lower 48 states Sunday have ranged from a morning low of 39 degrees at Truckee, Calif. to a high of 109 degrees at Thermal, Calif.

The Havre high of 97 falls short of the record high of 104 set in 1886 and 1930.

This week's forecast highs — 96 again Tuesday, 91 Wednesday, 94 Thursday and 93 Friday — again are nowhere near the records, with a scorching 108 degrees set in 1886.

Beat the heat

  • People 65 years and older, infants and children and people with chronic medical conditions are more prone to heat stress.
  • Air-conditioning is the number one protective factor against heat-related illness and death. During conditions of extreme heat, spend time in locations with air-conditioning such as shopping malls, public libraries.
  • Get informed. Listen to local news and weather channels or contact your local public health department during extreme heat conditions for health and safety updates.
  • Drink cool, nonalcoholic beverages and increase your fluid intake, regardless of your activity level.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, http: //http://www.bt.cdc.gov/disasters/extremeheat/heat_guide.asp


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