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West Burlington Iowa in Des Moines, County Iowa

http://www.crh.noaa.gov/dvn/?n=allhazardsradio

Frequency: VHF 162.525 MHz 
Transmitter ID: WXN-83
Transmitter Location: DPS tower in West Burlington, Iowa
Transmitter Power: 300 Watts
Broadcasts: 24 hours per day every day from the National Weather Service in the Quad Cities. 
Provided by: a cooperative effort between the Iowa Emergency Management Division, the Iowa Department of Public Safety, the Iowa Association of Electric Cooperatives, and the National Weather Service.
Counties Covered: (All or parts of counties covered - see diagram. Numbers in parentheses are FIPS codes.)
StateCountySAMECounty Coverage
IADes Moines019057 
IAHenry019087East
IALee019111 
IALouisa019115NE
ILHancock017067N
ILHenderson017071 
ILMercer017131SW
ILWarren017187W
You Can Hear on TV Channel 9 West Burlington, Iowa & Burlington, Iowa
WXN83 Weather Radio 162.525 MHz

Burlington land.pdf

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Iowa Radars & Local Weather

NEXRAD Radar
HyperLink
HyperLink 

Snow Ice Rain Radar Key

Click for Forecast for 52655 from weatherUSA.net

Click for Forecast for 52655 from weatherUSA.net

Solar Terrestrial

Solar Terrestrial

Weather You Need to Know!

Enhanced F Scale for Tornado Damage

Developed in 1971 by Tetsuya "Ted" Fujita (1920 - 1998) "Mr. Tornado"  of the University of Chicago
The Fujita Scale is based on structural strength and engineering research done by Ted Fujita and a host of others. This research created the Fujita scale as a measurement of a tornadoes strength or intensity. Simply put, how intense would a wind have to be to move a cardboard box or to move bricks?  One questions to ask would be: How fast or intense would the winds have to be to knock over a brick wall,? Obviously those winds would be significant. Through extensive research the Fujita Scale was developed based on damage, not wind speeds. Based on the extent of this damage conclusions are drawn as to what the winds would likely have to be to cause that type of damage. Since two wooden structured homes can be vastly different in quality and strength, there can be some misleading conclusions from the damage. Because of this and other overly general conclusions, storm researchers came up with the Enhanced Fujita scale to better reflect a tornado’s strength. Below is the new Enhanced Fujita scale started February 2007.

FUJITA SCALE

DERIVED EF SCALE

OPERATIONAL EF SCALE

F Number

Fastest 1/4-mile (mph)

3 Second Gust (mph)

EF Number

3 Second Gust (mph)

EF Number

3 Second Gust (mph)

0

40-72

45-78

0

65-85

0

65-85

1

73-112

79-117

1

86-109

1

86-110

2

113-157

118-161

2

110-137

2

111-135

3

158-207

162-209

3

138-167

3

136-165

4

208-260

210-261

4

168-199

4

166-200

5

261-318

262-317

5

200-234

5

Over 200

*** IMPORTANT NOTE ABOUT ENHANCED F-SCALE WINDS: The Enhanced F-scale still is a set of wind estimates (not measurements) based on damage. Its uses three-second gusts estimated at the point of damage based on a judgment of 8 levels of damage to the 28 indicators listed below. These estimates vary with height and exposure. Important: The 3 second gust is not the same wind as in standard surface observations. Standard measurements are taken by weather stations in open exposures, using a directly measured, "one minute mile" speed.

Enhanced F Scale Damage Indicators
NUMBER (Details Linked)
DAMAGE INDICATOR
ABBREVIATION
1
Small barns, farm outbuildings
SBO
2
One-or two-family residences
FR12
3
Single-wide mobile home (MHSW)
MHSW
4
Double-wide mobile home
MHDW
5
Apt, condo, townhouse (3 stories or less)
ACT
6
Motel
M
7
Masonry apt. or motel
MAM
8
Small retail bldg. (fast food)
SRB
9
Small professional (doctor office, branch bank)
SPB
10
Strip mall
SM
11
Large shopping mall
LSM
12
Large, isolated ("big box") retail bldg.
LIRB
13
Automobile showroom
ASR
14
Automotive service building
ASB
15
School-1-story elementary (interior or exterior halls)
ES
16
School-jr. or sr. high school
JHSH
17
Low-rise (1-4 story) bldg.
LRB
18
Mid-rise (5-20 story) bldg.
MRB
19
High-rise (over 20 stories)
HRB
20
Institutional bldg. (hospital, govt. or university)
IB
21
Metal building system
MBS
22
Service station canopy
SSC
23
Warehouse (tilt-up walls or heavy timber)
WHB
24
Transmission line tower
TLT
25
Free-standing tower
FST
26
Free standing pole (light, flag, luminary)
FSP
27
Tree-hardwood
TH
28
Tree-softwood
TS

Enhanced Fujita Scale article has been completed by the Wind Science and Engineering Center at Texas Tech University.

 Click herefor the (pdf) document that details how the new scale is derived. 

Discussed in the article is the need for revising the current rating system used that was created by Dr. Ted Fujita. Thanks to http://www.spc.noaa.gov and http://www.wind.ttu.edu for the new information.

The Beaufort Wind Scale

One of the first scales to estimate wind speeds and the effects was created by Britain’s Admiral Sir Francis Beaufort (1774-1857). He developed the scale in 1805 to help sailors estimate the winds via visual observations. The scale starts with 0 and goes to a force of 12. The Beaufort scale is still used today to estimate wind strengths.

Beaufort Scale: Specifications and equivalent speeds for use on land

Force

Equivalent 10 m above miles/hour

Speed ground knots

DescriptionSpecifications For Use On Land
00-10-1CalmCalm; smoke rises verticall.
11-31-3Light airDirection of wind sown by smoke drift, but not by wind vanes.
24-74-6Light BreezeWind felt on face; leaves rustle; ordinary vanes moved by wind.
38-127-10Gentle BreezeLeaves and small twigs in constant motion; wind extends light flag.
413-1811-16Moderate BreezeRaises dust and loose paper; small branches are moved.
519-2417-21Fresh BreezeSmall trees in leaf begin to sway; crested wavelets form on inland waters.
625-3122-27Strong BreezeLarge branches in motion; whistling heard in telegraph wires; umbrellas used with difficulty.
732-3828-33Near GaleWhole trees in motion; inconvenience felt when walking against the wind.
839-4634-40GaleBreaks twigs off trees; generally impedes progress.
947-5441-47Severe GaleSlight structural damage occurs (chimney-pots and slates removed).
1055-6348-55StormSeldom experienced inland; trees uprooted; considerable structural damage occurs.
1164-7256-63Violent Storm

Very rarely experienced; accompanied by wide-spread damage.

1273-8364-71Hurricane

--

Heat Index
The heat index (HI) is a measure of how hot it really feels when the effect of humidity is added to the temperature. Heat index is shown as a function of Temperature/Dewpoint.
Heat Index Chart (Temperature & Dewpoint)
Dewpt
(° F)
Temperature (° F)
90919293949596979899100101102103104105
659495969798100101102103104106107108109110112
669495979899100101103104105106108109110111112
6795969798100101102103105106107108110111112113
6895979899100102103104105107108109110112113114
69969799100101103104105106108109110111113114115
70979899101102103105106107109110111112114115116
719899100102103104106107108109111112113115116117
7298100101103104105107108109111112113114116117118
7399101102103105106108109110112113114116117118119
74100102103104106107109110111113114115117118119121
75101103104106107108110111113114115117118119121122
76102104105107108110111112114115117118119121122123
77103105106108109111112114115117118119121122124125
78105106108109111112114115117118119121122124125126
79106107109111112114115117118120121122124125127128
80107109110112114115117118120121123124126127128130
81109110112114115117118120121123124126127129130132
82110112114115117118120122123125126128129131132133
Note: Exposure to full sunshine can increase HI values by up to 15° F

Spotter's Guide & Online Spotter Courses

New Spotter's Guide & Online Spotter Courses Available

Spotter's Field Guide:

The National Weather Service has released a new Storm Spotter's Field Guide, detailing the latest information on the science behind severe weather, storm spotting and safety!  Only limited printed supplies are expected to be available for the 2014 storm spotter classes, so it is recommended that you download and a print a copy!  File size is approximately 1.8MB, with 36 double-sided printed pages.

Find it at: SGJune6-11.pdf

Online Spotter Courses:

In addition, earlier this summer two new online spotter training class modules were made available!  These online courses provide an excellent introduction to storm spotting and a way to refresh one's knowledge.

Please note that these classes do NOT replace attending a spotter training class in your local area. There is significant value in training alongside fellow spotters and learning about the local warning systems and community spotter network.  In the Quad Cities service area, spotter training classes are conducted from late February through early April. Keep an eye on the Spotter Training Calendar in early 2015 as classes begin to schedule to find a class near your community.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Storm Spotting

  1. Who are storm spotters?
  2. Why become a storm spotter?
  3. What is SKYWARN?
  4. Do spotters “chase” storms?
  5. Do spotters need special tools or equipment?
  6. How do I become a community storm spotter?
  7. How do I become a spotter in the Quad Cities service area?
  8. Is there an age requirement for attending a class or becoming a spotter?
  9. What training is required?
  10. When will a class be offered in my community?
  11. Can I attend a class in another area?
  12. How often should I retrain?
  13. Can I take spotter training online instead of attending a class?
  14. I don't want to be a spotter. Can I attend a class anyway?
  15. Can I schedule a spotter training class for my group?

Who are Storm Spotters?
Virtually every community has some form of spotter network. Often, local fire and police personnel are trained to observe and report severe weather, partly due to their extensive radio communication and 24-hour operations. Citizens may also be an active part of the spotter network, some with an avid interest in the weather and many without. Some spotters are amateur radio operators.  All share a sense of responsibility to their neighbors.
Why become a storm spotter?
Real-time reports are critical in issuing warnings and saving lives. That’s an indisputable fact. Spotters provide this real-time ground-truth of local conditions - such as hail size, wind speed, storm structure, tornado development, and local damage - to help warn the public. Even as new technology allows the National Weather Service (NWS) to issue warnings with more lead time, spotters will always serve as a key link between radar indications of severe weather and what’s happening on the ground.
What is SKYWARN?
SKYWARN is a program sponsored by the National Weather Service. The program is made up of thousands of volunteers who attend regular training and then scan the skies of their communities identifying and reporting critical storm information. These volunteers, sometimes organized under the SKYWARN banner in the U.S., are typically trained by NWS forecasters to be the eyes and ears of both the warning forecasters and the local public safety networks.
Do spotters “chase” storms?
Generally, no. Some may be mobile, such as law enforcement officers; and others may track storms, depending on how the local network is structured.  However, most spotters simply report the weather that occurs where they are.
Do spotters need special tools or equipment?
Maybe – or maybe not. All spotters need a reliable and effective means of communication with their network. Some may invest in a rain gage or perhaps an anemometer for measuring wind speed.
 How do I become a community storm spotter?
Although the NWS often provides training, spotter groups in most areas are organized by emergency management officials or the police or fire department. If you are interested in becoming a spotter, check with these agencies to find out who serves as spotters in your area.
How do I become a spotter in the Quad Cities service area
?
We have assembled a guide for becoming a spotter in our area. Please check it out at: www.weather.gov/quadcities/?n=stormspotters
Is there an age requirement for attending a class or becoming a spotter?
Short answer: no. People of all ages attend spotter training classes. Those ages 10 and up are likely to get the most from the class. Youth who are interested in registering as spotters with the NWS Quad Cities are registered along with an adult in the same household. 
What training is required?
A typical SKYWARN training class conducted by the NWS lasts about 2 hours. Classes include information on identifying storm features, effective positioning strategy, safety, and severe weather communication. The National Weather Service recommends that spotters train every 2 years to remain current.
When will a class be offered in my community?
In the Quad Cities service area, spotter training classes are conducted from late February through early April. One to two classes are conducted in each county.  Scheduling of spotter training classes begins around the New Year. A list of classes currently scheduled can be found at: www.weather.gov/quadcities/?n=spottertraining
Can I attend a class in another area?
Short answer: Yes, you can. However, keep in mind that attending a class in your own county will give you the most insight into the SKYWARN activities in your home community. It is also generally good practice to train with the people you will be working with. However, if you are unable to attend your local class, you can certainly attend a class in another area.
How often should I retrain?
The NWS recommends that spotters retrain every 2 years. For NWS spotters in the Quad Cities service area, we require that spotters retrain every 2 to 3 years to remain active in our database.
Can I take spotter training online instead of attending a class?
At this time the NWS Quad Cities only accepts spotter registrations and updates from those who attend a class in person. The reason...relaying accurate information effectively is critical during severe weather. Therefore, we feel that it is important to attend spotter training in person to optimize this process. In the future, there may be an option to renew training online.
I don't want to be a spotter. Can I attend a class anyway?
Sure! Many people attend spotter training classes because they simply have an interest in weather and want to learn more about storms. Some even attend because they have fear of storms and hope that learning more will ease their fear. Scout troops, high school science classes, and many others also often attend spotter training.
Can I schedule a spotter training class for my group?
Because classes must be complete before severe weather season begins, we must limit the number of classes to one or two per county. This means that we usually are not able to schedule classes for individual groups. Spotter training classes are typically coordinated through the county emergency manager and should include all groups and general public involved in the local storm spotting program. Check with your local emergency management officials if you are interested in hosting a class for your county.


Becoming a Storm Spotter
in the Quad Cities Service Area
So you are interested in becoming a storm spotter for the National Weather Service in the Quad Cities area. That's great! Now you are wondering how to get started. Well,  you've come to the right place! Here are the steps:
  • Read some brief background about storm spotting.

About the Skywarn spotter program 
Frequently Asked Questions about Storm Spotting

  • Attend a storm spotter training class.
Schedule of Spotter Training Classes
Classes are free, last about 2 hours, and are open to the public.  In the  Quad Cities service area, spotter training classes are conducted from late February through early April.  No more than one class is conducted in each county, and scheduling of spotter training classes begins around the New Year.
  • Learn what, when, and how to report, and how to stay safe while doing it.
Spotter training classes cover the basics of severe weather, including storm structure, feature identification, spotter positioning, safety, and severe weather communication.
  • Submit a form to become a storm spotter for the NWS Quad Cities.
Forms are available at each spotter training class. By completing the form, you become a registered NWS spotter.  This allows the NWS to call you for information about severe weather in your area.
  • Find out about the local storm spotting network in your community, if you may join, and how to join.
If possible, attend a class in your local area so you will gain the most information about the SKYWARN activities in your own community. If you are not able to attend a class in your community, contact your county emergency manager to learn more about local storm spotting efforts.
  • Retrain.
The NWS Quad Cities requires that spotters retrain every 2 to 3 years to remain active.

If you are a novice spotter who is considering mobile storm spotting, you may want to talk to your local emergency manager and find out if there are experienced spotters that you could partner with until you gain your own experience


Our Area of Responsibility (CWA)

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The Quad Cities NWS office is responsible for a County Warning Area (CWA) which coincides with its Hydrologic Service Area (HSA).  The Quad Cities CWA consists of 36 counties in eastern Iowa, northwest and west-central Illinois, and extreme northeast Missouri–21 in Iowa, 13 in Illinois, and 2 in Missouri–or a total area of nearly 20,000 square miles. Over 1.4 million people live in this region.  In this area the Quad Cities NWS office is responsible for providing warnings and forecasts. Routine forecasts include the short-term forecast (1 to 6 hours), the 7-day forecast, and the Hazardous Weather Outlook Advisories, warnings, and other statements are issued on an as-needed basis, depending on the weather conditions.

Every county across the country has a unique FIPS code and zone code. The FIPS code is designated by the state and is used for dissemination of warnings and for programming the SAME Tone-Alert Weather Radios.  The zone code is defined by the National Weather Service and is used for disseminating forecasts and other less urgent products and for selecting NOAA Weather Wire products.
IOWA
CountyFIPS CodeZone Code
Benton019011IAZ051
Buchanan019019IAZ040
Cedar019031IAZ065
Clinton019045IAZ066
Delaware019055IAZ041
Des Moines019057IAZ089
Dubuque019061IAZ042
Henry019087IAZ088
Iowa019095IAZ063
Jackson019097IAZ054
Jefferson019101IAZ087
Johnson019103IAZ064
Jones019105IAZ053
Keokuk019107IAZ076
Lee019111IAZ099
Linn019113IAZ052
Louisa019115IAZ078
Muscatine019139IAZ067
Scott019163IAZ068
Van Buren019177IAZ098
Washington019183IAZ077

Wind Convert

Miles per hour to
Knots or meters per second
mphktsm/s    mphktsm/s
10.90.45144.322.8
21.70.95245.223.2
32.61.35346.123.7
43.51.85446.924.1
54.32.25547.824.6
65.22.75648.725
76.13.15749.525.5
873.65850.425.9
97.845951.326.4
108.74.56052.126.8
119.64.9615327.3
1210.45.46253.927.7
1311.35.86354.728.2
1412.26.36455.628.6
15136.76556.529.1
1613.97.26657.429.5
1714.87.66758.230
1815.686859.130.4
1916.58.5696030.8
2017.48.97060.831.3
2118.29.47161.731.7
2219.19.87262.632.2
232010.37363.432.6
2420.910.77464.333.1
2521.711.27565.233.5
2622.611.6766634
2723.512.17766.934.4
2824.312.57867.834.9
2925.2137968.635.3
3026.113.48069.535.8
3126.913.98170.436.2
3227.814.38271.336.7
3328.714.88372.137.1
3429.515.2847337.6
3530.415.68573.938
3631.316.18674.738.4
3732.216.58775.638.9
3833178876.539.3
3933.917.48977.339.8
4034.817.99078.240.2
4135.618.39179.140.7
4236.518.89279.941.1
4337.419.29380.841.6
4438.219.79481.742
4539.120.19582.642.5
464020.69683.442.9
4740.8219784.343.4
4841.721.59885.243.8
4942.621.9998644.3
5043.422.410086.944.7
 
Knots to
Miles per hour or meters per second
ktsmphm/s  ktsmphm/s
11.20.515158.726.3
22.315259.826.8
33.51.5536127.3
44.62.15462.127.8
55.82.65563.328.3
66.93.15664.428.8
78.13.65765.629.3
89.24.15866.729.9
910.44.65967.930.4
1011.55.1606930.9
1112.75.76170.231.4
1213.86.26271.331.9
13156.76372.532.4
1416.17.26473.732.9
1517.37.76574.833.5
1618.48.2667634
1719.68.86777.134.5
1820.79.36878.335
1921.99.86979.435.5
202310.37080.636
2124.210.87181.736.6
2225.311.37282.937.1
2326.511.8738437.6
2427.612.47485.238.1
2528.812.97586.338.6
2629.913.47687.539.1
2731.113.97788.639.6
2832.214.47889.840.2
2933.414.97990.940.7
3034.515.48092.141.2
3135.7168193.241.7
3236.816.58294.442.2
3338178395.542.7
3439.117.58496.743.2
3540.3188597.843.8
3641.418.5869944.3
3742.61987100.144.8
3843.719.688101.345.3
3944.920.189102.445.8
404620.690103.646.3
4147.221.191104.746.8
4248.321.692105.947.4
4349.522.19310747.9
4450.622.794108.248.4
4551.823.295109.348.9
4652.923.796110.549.4
4754.124.297111.649.9
4855.224.798112.850.4
4956.425.299113.951
5057.525.7100115.151.5

Hail Size Conversion Chart

Pea0.25 to 0.50 inch
Penny0.75
Nickel0.88
Quarter1.00
Half Dollar1.25
Ping Pong Ball1.50
Golf Ball1.75
Lime (Hen Egg)2.00
Tennis Ball2.50
Baseball2.75
Tea Cup3.00
Grapefruit - Softball3.50 - 4.50
CD - DVD5.00
Warning/Watch/Advisory/Statement
Tornado Warning

A tornado warning is issued when a funnel cloud has been spotted or a rotating thunderstorm has been indicated by Doppler radar.

Tornado Watch

A tornado watch is issued when thunderstorms in and near the watch box area may produce tornadoes.

Severe Thunderstorm Warning
A severe thunderstorm warning is issued when a storm with any of these severe weather criteria is approaching the warning area:
  • hail 3/4 of an inch or greater
  • winds greater than 58 mph
  • recent history of tree, telephone pole, or other structural damage
Severe Thunderstorm Watch
A severe thunderstorm watch is issued when there is a possibility that thunderstorms in and near the watch box area may produce the following severe weather conditions:
  • hail 3/4 of an inch or greater

  • winds greater than 58 mph

Flood Warning

A flood warning is issued when flooding is occuring or is about to occur.

Flood Watch

A flood watch is issued when flooding is possible in the watch area.

High Wind Advisory

A high wind advisory is issued when sustained winds of 31 mph or greater are expected to occur for at least 1 hour. This advisory can also be issued if winds of 46 mph or greater are expected for any length of time.

Hurricane Local Statement

This statement is issued when it is necessary to inform the public of hurricane or tropical storm watches and warnings. These statements contain detailed information of when and what adverse conditions to expect as a result of the tropical system affecting the statement area.

Fire Weather Advisory

A fire weather advisory is issued when dry conditions in the advisory area result in a situation where forest or brush fires are possible.

Winter Weather Advisory

A winter weather advisory is issued when significant accumulations of snow, sleet, or freezing rain may affect the advisory area.

Dense Fog Advisory

A dense fog advisory is issued when fog that reduces visibility to 1/4 mile or less is possible in the advisory area.

Heat Advisory

A heat advisory is issued when the heat index is expected to exceed 105° F (100° F in New York City) or if nighttime lows are expected to be greater than 80° F for two or more nights.

Heat: A Major Killer

Heat Awareness Day: May 23, 2014

Heat is one of the leading weather-related killer in the United States, resulting in hundreds of fatalities each year. In the disastrous heat wave of 1980, more than 1,250 people died. In the heat wave of 1995 more than 700 deaths in the Chicago area were attributed to heat, making this the deadliest weather event in Chicago history. In August 2003, a record heat wave in Europe claimed an estimated 50,000 lives.

North American summers are hot; most summers see heat waves in one or more parts of the United States. East of the Rockies, they tend to combine both high temperatures and high humidity, although some of the worst heat waves have been catastrophically dry.

NOAA's Watch, Warning, and Advisory Products for Extreme Heat

Each National Weather Service Forecast Office issues the following heat-related products as conditions warrant:

  • Excessive Heat Outlooks: : are issued when the potential exists for an excessive heat event in the next 3-7 days. An Outlook provides information to those who need considerable lead time to prepare for the event, such as public utility staff, emergency managers and public health officials. See the mean heat index and probability forecasts maps.
  • Excessive Heat Watches: are issued when conditions are favorable for an excessive heat event in the next 24 to 72 hours. A Watch is used when the risk of a heat wave has increased but its occurrence and timing is still uncertain. A Watch provides enough lead time so that those who need to prepare can do so, such as cities officials who have excessive heat event mitigation plans.
  • Excessive Heat Warning/Advisories are issued when an excessive heat event is expected in the next 36 hours. These products are issued when an excessive heat event is occurring, is imminent, or has a very high probability of occurring. The warning is used for conditions posing a threat to life. An advisory is for less serious conditions that cause significant discomfort or inconvenience and, if caution is not taken, could lead to a threat to life.

How Forecasters Decide Whether to Issue Excessive Heat Products
NOAA's heat alert procedures are based mainly on Heat Index Values. The
Heat Index, sometimes referred to as the apparent temperature is given in degrees Fahrenheit. The Heat Index is a measure of how hot it really feels when relative humidity is factored in with the actual air temperature.

To find the Heat Index temperature, look at the Heat Index chart below. As an example, if the air temperature is 96F and the relative humidity is 65%, the heat index--how hot it feels--is 121F. The National Weather Service will initiate alert procedures when the Heat Index is expected to exceed 105-110F (depending on local climate) for at least 2 consecutive days. NWS also offers a Heat Index chart for area with high heat but low relative humidity.

MPORTANT: Since heat index values were devised for shady, light wind conditions, exposure to full sunshine can increase heat index values by up to 15F. Also, strong winds, particularly with very hot, dry air, can be extremely hazardous.

The Heat Index Chart shaded zone above 105F (orange or red) shows a level that may cause increasingly severe heat disorders with continued exposure or physical activity.

The Hazards of Excessive Heat

During extremely hot and humid weather the body's ability to cool itself is affected. When the body heats too rapidly to cool itself properly, or when too much fluid or salt is lost through dehydration or sweating, body temperature rises and heat-related illnesses may develop.

Heat-related illnesses can range from heat cramps to heat exhaustion to more serious heat stroke. Heat stroke can result in death and requires immediate medical attention.

Factors or conditions that can make some people more susceptible to heat-related illnesses include age (older adults and young children), obesity, fever, heart disease, mental illness, poor circulation, prescription drug and alcohol use, and sunburn. Sunburn, caused by ultraviolet radiation from the sun, can significantly retard the skin's ability to shed excess heat.

Heat-Related Illness Symptoms and First Aid

HEAT CRAMPS

  • Symptoms:
  • Painful muscle cramps and spasms usually in legs and abdomen
  • Heavy sweating
  • First Aid:
  • Apply firm pressure on cramping muscles or gentle massage to relieve spasm.
  • Give sips of water, if nausea occurs, discontinue water

HEAT EXHAUSTION

  • Symptoms:
  • Heavy sweating
  • Weakness
  • Cool, pale, clammy skin
  • Weak pulse
  • Possible muscle cramps
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Fainting
  • Normal temperature possible
  • First Aid:
  • Move person to a cooler environment
  • Remove or loosen clothing
  • Apply cool, wet cloths
  • Fan or move victim to air conditioned room
  • Offer sips of water. If nausea occurs, discontinue water. If vomiting continues, seek immediate medical attention.

HEAT STROKE (or sunstroke)

Symptoms:

  • Altered mental state
  • Possible throbbing headache, confusion, nausea, dizziness, shallow breathing
  • High body temperature (106F or higher)
  • Skin may be hot and dry, or patient may be sweating
  • Rapid pulse
  • Possible unconsciousness

First Aid:

  • Heat stroke is a severe medical emergency. Summon emergency medical assistance or get the victim to a hospital immediately. Delay can be fatal.
  • Move the victim to a cooler, preferably air-conditioned, environment
  • Reduce body temperature with a water mister and fan or sponging
  • Use fan if heat index temperatures are below the high 90s
  • Use extreme caution
  • If temperature rises again, repeat process
  • Do NOT give fluids

Never Leave Children, Disabled Adults or Pets in Parked Vehicles

Each year, dozens of children and untold numbers of pets left in parked vehicles die from hyperthermia. Hyperthermia is an acute condition that occurs when the body absorbs more heat than it can handle. Hyperthermia can occur even on a mild day. Studies have shown that the temperature inside a parked vehicle can rapidly rise to a dangerous level for children, pets and even adults.  Leaving the windows slightly open does not significantly decrease the heating rate. The effects can be more severe on children because their bodies warm at a faster rate than adults.

Courtesy of San Francisco State University. Use of this graph does not imply NWS endorsement of services provided by San Francisco State University.

How Fast Can the Sun Heat a Car?

The sun's shortwave radiation (yellow in figure below) heats objects that it strikes.  For example, a dark dashboard or seat can easily reach temperatures in the range of 180 to over 200F. These objects (e.g., dashboard, steering wheel, child seat) heat the adjacent air by conduction and convection and also give off longwave radiation (red in figure below) which is very efficient at warming the air trapped inside a vehicle.
Shown below are time lapse photos of thermometer readings in a car over a period of less than an hour. As the animation shows, in just over 2 minutes the car went from a safe temperature to an unsafe temperature of 94.3F. This demonstration shows just how quickly a vehicle can become a death trap for a child.
Objects Heated by the Sun Warm Vehicle's Air

CLICK HERE FOR ANIMATION (700K)
(
Hi-Res ~ 2.5 mb.WMV file)
Individual Frames:
0 min, 10 min, 20 min, 30 min, 40 min, 50 min, 60 min
Animation Courtesy of General Motors and San Francisco State University. Use of this animation does not imply NWS endorsement of services provided by General Motors and San Francisco State University.
Hyperthermia deaths aren't confined to summer months. They also happen during the spring and fall. Below are some examples.

The atmosphere and the windows of a car are relatively transparent to the suns shortwave radiation yellow in figure below) and are warmed little. This shortwave energy, however, does heat objects it strikes. For example, a dark dashboard or seat can easily reach temperatures in the range of 180F to more than 200F. These objects, e.g., dashboard, steering wheel, childseat, heat the adjacent air by conduction and convection and give off longwave radiation (infrared), which efficiently warms the air trapped inside a vehicle. Learn more about excessive heat and cars.

Vehicle Related Heat Deaths

  • Honolulu, HI, March 07, 2007: A 3-year-old girl died when the father left her in a child seat for 1.5 hours while he visited friends in a Waikiki apartment building.  The outside temperature was only 81 degrees.
  • North Augusta, SC, April 2006: A mother left her a 15-month-old son in a car. He was in a car for 9 hours while his mom went to work. She is now serving a 20-year prison sentence.
  • Greenville, TX, December 01, 2012: A 6-month-old boy died after being left in a car for more than 2 hours by his mother. She was charged with murder. The temperature rose to an unseasonably warm 81 degrees on that day.
  • Adults are in danger too. On July 12, 2001, a man died of heat stroke after falling asleep in his car with the windows rolled up in the parking lot of a supermarket in Hinds County, MS.

Safety Tips for Concerning Children

  • Make sure your child's safety seat and safety belt buckles aren't too hot before securing your child in a safety restraint system, especially when your car has been parked in the heat.
  • Never leave your child unattended in a vehicle, even with the windows down.
  • Teach children not to play in, on, or around cars.
  • Always lock car doors and trunks--even at home--and keep keys out of children's reach.
  • Always make sure all children have left the car when you reach your destination. Don't leave sleeping infants in the car ever

Downloadable Child Vehicular Heat Stroke Prevention Logos

Safety Tips for Adults

  • Slow down. Reduce, eliminate or reschedule strenuous activities until the coolest time of the day. Children, seniors and anyone with health problems should stay in the coolest available place, not necessarily indoors.
  • Dress for summer. Wear lightweight, light-colored clothing to reflect heat and sunlight.
  • Put less fuel on your inner fires. Foods, like meat and other proteins that increase metabolic heat production also increase water loss.
  • Drink plenty of water, non-alcoholic and decaffeinated fluids. Your body needs water to keep cool. Drink plenty of fluids even if you don't feel thirsty. Persons who have epilepsy or heart, kidney or liver disease, are on fluid restrictive diets or have a problem with fluid retention should consult a physician before increasing their consumption of fluids. Do not drink alcoholic beverages and limit caffeinated beverages.
  • During excessive heat periods, spend more time in air-conditioned places. Air conditioning in homes and other buildings markedly reduces danger from the heat. If you cannot afford an air conditioner, go to a library, store or other location with air conditioning for part of the day.
  • Don't get too much sun. Sunburn reduces your body's ability to dissipate heat.
  • Do not take salt tablets unless specified by a physician.

Preparing for and Responding to Excessive Heat Events

The Excessive Heat Events Guidebook was developed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 2006, in collaboration with the National Weather Service, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Department of Homeland Security. This guidebook provides best practices for saving lives during heat waves in urban areas, and provides a menu of options that communities can use in developing their own mitigation plans.

Wind  Chill

Hazards - Chart - Calculator - Current WC

What is a dangerous wind chill?

In our part of the midwest, wind chills below -20 are generally considered hazardous. People are at risk of frostbite and hypothermia if they do not take appropriate precautions. Wind Chill Advisories will be issued for Iowa, northern Illinois, and extreme northeast Missouri when the wind chill is expected to drop below -20 degrees F.

When the wind chill drops below -30 degrees F, conditions become life-threatening.  Frostbite and hypothermia can develop in a very short time. Therefore, a Wind Chill Warning would be issued for wind chills falling below this level.

Note that parts of the country to the north and south may have slightly different criteria due to differences in climatology.

Where can I get the current wind chill?

The current wind chill temperature is reported every hour (when weather conditions warrant) in the Hourly Weather Roundup.

How can I calculate the wind chill?

Printable Chart (in PDF format)

Wind Chill Calculator:

Wind Speed (MPH) =
Air Temperature (F) =

F

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This site was last updated Sunday, July 02, 2017 12:58:19 AM By: Ryan Smith