By Leslie Radford: Freedom Newspapers
Mark Friesen has maintained residential lawns in the area for eight years and is thankful this summer has been more forgiving than usual. With out-of-the-ordinary rainfall, temperatures have been lower, he said.
Friesen spends around eight hours most days of the week with his lawn service. To stay cool, he drinks plenty of water and wears a hat that resembles a baseball cap with “flaps” on the back.
“Last summer was so hot,” he said. “It’s nice when we have a yard with shade trees to do.”
Meteorologist Chuck Jones with the National Weather Service in Albuquerque said temperatures will linger in the mid to upper 90s with a slight chance of reaching 100 degrees by week’s end. The heat is brought on by a high-pressure system centering over New Mexico, he said.
The last time the official temperature in Clovis hit triple digits — 103 — was June 15, 2004, according to the NWS. The all-time high for the month was 110 on June 25, 1990.
Area health officials encourage people to protect themselves from the summer heat and sun.
“First and foremost, stay hydrated,” said Phil Teakell with Clovis’ Public Health Department. “The way to know you are well hydrated is that you have to go to the bathroom about every half hour. You need to be taking in more fluids than you are putting out.”
Teakell said it is common for people to suffer from heat stroke even in 90-degree weather and babies and senior citizens are more apt to experience problems.
Besides dehydration, symptoms include dizziness and fatigue, Teakell said.
He encourages people without air conditioners this summer to visit an air-conditioned public building like the mall or library for a few hours to cool off. The hottest day this year so far was May 23 with a high of 98, according to NWS.
The NWS said thunderstorms are possible through the weekend but skies should remain mostly sunny in eastern New Mexico.
Teakell suggests sun screen with SPF 30 or higher to prevent sun burn and to reapply often as sweat and other moisture can dilute the sun block.