The National Weather Service, which reported a reading of 104 degrees at Cartersville Airport just before 6 p.m. Friday, has issued a heat advisory through 8 p.m. Sunday. According to the service, a heat advisory means that a prolonged period of dangerously high heat indices is expected.
Bartow County is expected to see a high near 105 today, with a heat index near 109. Sunday's forecast is much of the same -- sunny, high of 103. Monday will finally see temperatures below 100, but not by much. The forecast calls for a 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms through Friday with highs in the mid- to upper-90s each day.
The combination of hot temperatures and high humidity will combine to bring a risk of heat related illnesses.
With dangerously high temperatures forecasted throughout the state for the next several days, The Georgia Department of Public Health is cautioning residents to avoid strenuous outdoor activity and/or prolonged exposure to the sun.
"More people die from heat than from any other weather-related event or natural disaster," said DPH Commissioner Brenda Fitzgerald. "We're sounding the alarm now and we're sounding it loudly."
Poor air quality in north Georgia will make the outdoor environment even more hazardous, especially for small children and the elderly, as well as those who work outdoors or those suffering from certain medical conditions. DPH encourages residents to observe important safety guidelines throughout the period of extreme heat:
* Stay indoors, in air-conditioned buildings and avoid direct sunlight.
* Never leave a child or person in a parked vehicle -- not even for a moment.
* Limit outdoor activity when the sun is most dangerous from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
* Bathe in cool water to reduce body temperature.
* Drink plenty of water and avoid alcohol or liquids containing caffeine or sugar.
* Wear loose, lightweight, light-colored clothing.
* Check on at-risk friends, family and neighbors at least twice a day.
According to the NWS, Cartersville's record high came on Aug. 27, 1954, when temperatures reached 108 degrees. The last time Cartersville saw record highs was in August 2007 when thermometers hit 104 and 105.