Carson City may have tied a record temperature Tuesday at 99 degrees, but is not expected to break any more this week.
Meteorologist technician Jessica Kielhorn, with the National Weather Service in Reno, said Carson City's high temperature record for July 12 was set in 2002 at 99 degrees. The record for July 13 is 101 degrees, set in 1972. Today's high is expected to be near 100.
"This temperature pattern is normal for this time of year," Kielhorn said. "There is a strong high pressure system over western Nevada and the Great Basin area that will begin to drift eastward.
"We can expect to be 1-2 degrees cooler beginning today, with a slight chance of thunderstorms."
Carson City's official high temperature reading is sent to the National Weather Service at 5 p.m. from Fire Station No. 1 on South Stewart Street. Tuesday's high was 99. Minden reported 102, breaking the record there of 101 set in 1999. Reno-Tahoe International Airport hit 104, breaking a 2002 record for the Truckee Meadows by 3 degrees.
Sierra Pacific Power Co. also reported a record Tuesday, saying the system peaked at 1,686 megawatts of power at 5 p.m., breaking the record of 1,657 set July 30, 2003. One megawatt will power about 600 homes and businesses. Officials cited growth and use of air conditioning during the heat wave with the system's peak.
Company spokeswoman Faye Andersen said the system is working well within its bounds.
High temperatures can be especially uncomfortable and dangerous for the elderly. Dr. Robert Chudnow, with Dayton Family Medicine, recommends seniors stay out of the direct sun, use fans if air-conditioning is not available and drink lots of fluids.
"Certain medications may make the elderly more prone to dehydration," Chudnow said. "Those who are on diuretics need to be particularly careful. They can be more sensitive because they may not perspire as much because of medications.
"They can also dress in cotton and loose clothing, no heavy bedding like quilts to sleep under, use a light sheet instead, don't exert themselves and eat less."
Chudnow also suggested going to the mall or a movie where air-conditioning is available, or stay with family members who have air-conditioning.
Humans aren't the only creatures susceptible to ill effects from the heat.
Carson City Animal Control Supervisor Pat Wiggins said it is OK to have an animal in a vehicle, if the owner or caretaker is with it.
"You should still have plenty of fresh water for the animal," Wiggins said. "But try not to keep the dog in the vehicle. Keep it on a leash or rope with a shaded area available."
Wiggins said they receive 15-20 calls per week in the spring and summertime. On occasion they are forced to remove an animal from a vehicle, subsequently going to court with the animal's owner.
"Most of the time we end up educating the owner," he said. "I tell them, 'You wouldn't be sitting in here for an hour, a dog can't do that either.' At 107 degrees (inside the vehicle) a dog can suffer heat exhaustion in 15 minutes."
As far as he can recall, Wiggins said, there have been no animals reported injured or dead from being left in a hot vehicle in Carson City.
Sgt. Jeff Melvin with the Carson City Sheriff's Department said although there is no state or local law specific to leaving children in a vehicle, it is a gross misdemeanor for a person who willfully leaves a person less than 18 years of age in a condition to cause physical pain or suffer abuse or neglect. Unless a more severe penalty is described by law, which can be a felony, a gross misdemeanor is punishable by six months to a year in jail and up to a $5,000 fine.
Melvin said as far as he knew, there have been no deaths or injury to a child left in a vehicle in Carson City.
Today is forecast to be sunny with highs ranging from 91-101 degrees and a slight chance of thunderstorms.
- Contact Rhonda Costa-Landers at email@example.com or 881-1223.
• The temperature inside a car parked in the sun rises, on average, 3.2 degrees every five minutes - regardless of the temperature outside.
• After an hour, the lowest interior temperature recorded in a study was 117 degrees.
• Opening the windows a bit makes very little difference.
Source: Pediatrics journal
• Carson City Municipal Code for leaving an animal unattended in a vehicle (7.13480) - a misdemeanor offense with up to $500 fine and/or 6 months in jail.
Beat the heat
• Drink water. Stay well-hydrated by drinking at least eight, eight-ounce glasses of liquid every day, especially water, juices, milk, club soda and decaffeinated beverages.
Eat watermelon and other water-based foods such as soups, ice cream and Jell-O.
Limit caffeinated and alcoholic beverages, which are diuretics and increase seniors' fluid needs.
• Wear sunglasses at all times when outdoors to help protect eyes from the sun's ultraviolet rays.
• Stay indoors during extremely hot temperatures.
• Wear a hat and apply sunscreen of at least 30 SPF to protect skin from overexposure to the sun's damaging rays.
• Know the signs of heat stroke and seek immediate treatment for this medical emergency. Signs include a red flushed face, high body temperature (106 F), headache, little or no sweat and rapid pulse.
Source: Hebrew Rehabilitation Center for Aged in Boston
• Avoid the sun, especially from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., when the sun's rays are strongest.
• Don't use tanning booths or sunlamps.
• Wear protective clothing and hats.
• Use sunscreens with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or more. Put the sunscreen everywhere the sun's rays might touch you, including ears, the back of your neck and bald areas of your scalp. Put more on every hour if you're sweating or swimming.