Drought and Extreme Heat 101

severe droughtA drought is a period of abnormally dry weather that persists long enough to produce a serious hydrologic imbalance (for example crop damage and water supply shortage). The severity of the drought depends upon the degree of moisture deficiency, the duration, and the size of the affected area.

Extreme Heat

According to the National Weather Service (NWS), extreme temperatures in Minnesota are characterized by issuance of Wind Chill Warnings or Advisories in the winter months, and by the issuance of Excessive Heat Warnings or Heat Advisories in the summer months.

The NWS issues a Heat Advisory for Minnesota when, during a 24-hour period, the Heat Index ranges from 105 to 114 degrees during the day, and remains at or above 80 degrees at night. An Excessive Heat Warning is issued when, during a 24-hour period, the Heat Index reaches 115 degrees or more during the day, and remains at or above 80 degrees at night. An Excessive Heat Watch may precede a Warning.

Although Minnesota was technically considered in a drought last spring/early summer, thankfully severe drought and extreme heat is not something Minnesotan’s have to be too worried about, but it has and can happen and it is wise to be prepared.

  • Learn how to recognize and administer first aid for heat-related health emergencies: sunburn, heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke.
  • Practice water conservation measures in your home, business and farm. Encourage local government to adopt similar measures to manage and conserve the water supply.
  • Visit your county’s website for water conservation and drought mitigation initiatives.

What to do during periods of drought and extreme heat in Minnesota

  • During a drought, reduce your use of water, particularly for non-essential purposes like washing your car. Adhere to watering bans or restrictions.
  • Limit your exposure to heat and sun. Wear sunscreen, loose-fitting clothing, hat and sunglasses.
  • Don’t overexert yourself and get sufficient rest. Drink plenty of water to replace water lost through sweating.
  • Be mindful of fire and burn bans. In dry conditions, cigarettes and campfires can easily spark wildfires.

The risk of fires grows immensely when in a drought or extreme heat so please use caution. If your home should be affected by smoke or fire damage due to severe drought or extreme heat, we can do whatever it takes to help you after a fire. Our fire damage services are listed here.