Pool expects big crowds as heat index reaches 104No matter how hot the weather gets, the pool will stay open.
By: Chris Mueller, The Daily Republic
It might be a good time for a swim.
With the temperature today in Mitchell expected to reach 98 degrees with a heat index of 104, and the National Weather Service forecasting highs above 90 for the rest of the week, Mitchell Recreation Coordinator Kevin DeVries expects locals will come in droves to the city’s pool looking for relief from the heat.
“We’re hoping for good numbers,” he said.
No matter how hot the weather gets, DeVries said the pool will stay open.
“We do have the umbrellas that people can sit under for shade,” DeVries said. “If it gets too hot, people just won’t come.”
Nothing special needs to be done to prepare the pool for the hot weather, he said, and the pool’s staff will operate as it normally does.
“Whether we have 75-degree weather or 95-degree weather, we have to staff it the same,” he said.
Lifeguards will be on the lookout for signs of dehydration in pool-goers.
“We try to watch some of the younger kids to make sure they stay hydrated,” he said. “Obviously, if we’re going to have a ton of kids there, the staff will need to be sharper than normal.”
Besides attracting visitors, Devries said the soaring temperatures could have other benefits for the facility.
“We’ll likely be able to shut our pool’s heaters down to save on our utility bill,” he said.
If the forecast remains accurate, nature will provide the Mitchell area with plenty of free heat for at least the next few days, and according to National Weather Service meteorologist Marc Chenard, it’s possible the heat wave could last even longer.
“It looks like it’s going to come in varying intensities,” Chenard said. “There are no immediate signs of relief from that.”
Sustained winds between 20 and 25 mph, with gusts of 30 mph or more, rushing in with a mass of warm air from the southwest will accompany the sweltering heat today, but are expected to dissipate as the week progresses, Chenard said.
“It has to do with the air coming off the high plains,” he said. “Once they start heating up, those winds are going to come down to the surface.”
If the heat index remains over 100 degrees for more than a few hours today, Chenard said the weather service will likely issue a heat advisory. Anyone planning to spend time outside should make an effort to limit their exposure to the hot and humid conditions, and make every effort to stay hydrated, he said.
“When it gets that hot, you get dehydrated pretty easily,” Chenard said.
After a mild winter, and a dry, warm spring, Chenard said the area could experience aboveaverage temperatures for much of the summer.
“It’s tough to say for sure, but trends like that do continue,” he said. “With these couple of months, you would tend to lean toward thinking the next couple of months would be above normal as well.”
The high temperature Monday was 88.
Normal high temperatures in late June in Mitchell are in the mid-80s, according to weather service records. Mitchell’s record high for the month was set in 1936 when the temperature reached 111 degrees.
The record low for the month is 31 degrees, which first happened in 1901, and again on two consecutive days in 1946.
No city-run youth sports games have been canceled yet because of the heat, DeVries said.
“We don’t really cancel because of the heat, but we’ll monitor it,” he said.
Some games could be shortened if the heat becomes a problem for players, he added.