On Friday, June 21, the sun brightens our skies longer than on any other day in 2019. The summer solstice is here: our longest day and shortest night of the year, and the first day of astronomical summer in Earth’s Northern Hemisphere.
This year’s solstice arrives at 10:54 a.m. Central. At this exact moment, the sun’s direct rays reach as far north as they ever get, appearing straight over the Tropic of Cancer, at 23.5 degrees north latitude. As a result, we see the sun take its longest and highest path through the sky.
According to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, records show five people died in Wisconsin due to heat-related causes in 2018. In the last five years, at least 13 people have died in Wisconsin and thousands of residents have fallen ill or been hospitalized due to heat-related conditions.
Officials say it’s important to take care of yourself and to check in on family, friends, and neighbors during periods of extreme heat. Those most susceptible to heat include pets, children, the elderly, and people with heart disease or high blood pressure. People who are overweight or on certain medications may also be more vulnerable to illnesses during heat waves.
The inside of a car can be especially dangerous, with temperatures inside a vehicle able to climb very quickly, as much as 20 degrees Fahrenheit in just 10 minutes. Never leave a child or pet inside a parked car. Leaving a window cracked is not enough.
Here are some tips they give for staying safe during extreme heat:
– Stay cool: Remain inside air-conditioned buildings as much as possible during the hottest parts of the day and avoid direct sunlight.
– Stay aware: Watch for signs of heat-related illnesses, such as weakness, dizziness, nausea, and muscle cramps. If symptoms don’t improve, seek medical attention.
– Stay hydrated: Drink plenty of water. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink!
– Stay informed: Pay attention to local weather forecasts and extreme heat alerts.