The National Weather Service offices in Jackson, Birmingham and Mobile have issued heat advisories for the area due to the hot temperatures and high humidity.
"This means that conditions have gotten considerably worse, not necessarily the temperature," said John Baxter of the National Weather Service. "The humidity is higher and it doesn't cool off as much at night. So therefore, the ground stores more heat than it normally would."
A heat advisory is issued when the heat index, a number compiled from factoring the air temperature with the relative humidity, is at least 105 degrees and up to 115 degrees for less than 3 hours during the day, and when overnight lows remain over 80 degrees for two consecutive days. If the heat index goes above 105 degrees for more than 3 hours during the day, an excessive heat warning would be issued.
"Sweating is the way the body helps cool down. And if you don't have the ability to evaporate the sweat, your body will not cool down," said Baxter. "And that is why the high humidity is a factor. It cuts down on evaporative cooling or the ability for the body to cool itself so you can't cool yourself down by sweating and that's where the danger comes in."
On these hot summer days, you should remember a few simple things. Drink plenty of water and avoid alcohol. Take frequent breaks so you don't over exert yourself and if all possible try to avoid working outdoors during the peak daytime heating hours roughly from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Also you should wear light colored clothing and don't forget the sunblock.
The extended forecast calls for little or any change in this weather pattern over the twin states. Even standing in a cool spot like the shade of a building will not help you as those high humidity values will still affect you, not to mention the temperatures in the upper 90s.