Portales heat continues to climb

By Helena Rodriguez: PNT Staff Writer

It may not be hot enough outside to fry an egg on a sidewalk, but to many in Portales it has felt that way lately.
According to the National Weather Service, Portales has only hit the three-digit temperatures a few times this summer and came up short of an expected high of 101Thursday. According to the weather station at Cannon Air Force Base, the Portales area had a recorded high of 97 degrees on Thursday.
Temperatures over the last two weeks have been hovering in the high 90s, and the temperate was at 101 degrees on June 19. The hot streak is expected to continue through the Fourth of July Weekend, although there are a few chances of isolated showers.
With ongoing heat, it’s necessary to take precautionary measures when venturing out into the sun, even for a short while, according to Janet Kelly, a registered nurse at Roosevelt General Hospital.
Children and the elderly are particularly susceptible to the heat, but it’s also important for everyone to protect themselves.
“The first thing we tell people is to wear loose fit(ting) clothing, light weight with light colors, nothing dark or tight. The tighter your clothes, the more heat you retain,” Kelly said.
“You also need to limit your exercise during the hot part of the days. Schedule those rigorous activities during the cooler part of the morning or evening,” Kelly said.
She also said people should drink plenty of fluids, before, during and after being in the sun, and to avoid caffeinated beverages because it helps to dehydrate the body. She also noted people should avoid alcohol in the heat.
Beginning signs of heat exhaustion are extreme fatigue, muscle aches, fever, clammy skin, a rapid pulse, nausea and weakness.
To keep cool indoors, Ruth Cox of Cox Refrigeration & Electric Inc., recommends that people change their air conditioner filters once a month. She suggests people find a common date to do this, such as when they get their electric bills. That helps them stay on schedule. This also may help prevent their air conditioner from going out when the heat kicks in.
“I think a lot of air conditioning problems could be avoided if people took care of their filters, “ Cox said. “Some air conditioners have washable filters.”
Felicia Corrales works at the “Snowi” snowcone stand outside of Wal-Mart Supercenter in Portales. She thinks it has been so hot that some people don’t even want to venture out into the heat to get something to cool down with.
“It’s been so slow here during the day,” Corrales said. “We get busy more like in the late afternoon, around 7:30 and 8 p.m. By then, it is starting to cool down.”
Corrales herself admits that she prefers the indoors this time of year.
“We have a pool at home,” Corrales said, “but when it’s this hot, we mostly stay inside and play video games.”
Local lifeguard Clay Hawk said that the city pool in Portales has been averaging about 200 to 300 people a day.
According to a spokesperson at the National Weather Service in Albuquerque, June has typically been the hottest month of the year for Portales. However, the highest recorded temperature in Portales for July 1 was recorded in 1957, when the temperature got up to 104 degrees.