By Samantha Phillips
Don’t forget the sunscreen if you are spending time outdoors for the Fourth of July, or any day this week for that matter.
The heat index in the Mahoning Valley will peak in the upper 90s most of the week, the National Weather Service reports.
Every day is expected to be humid with little breeze.
People should watch out for the signs of heat stroke, which include a throbbing headache, dizziness, muscle weakness, nausea and rapid shallow breathing, according to webmd.com.
The NWS posted a hazardous weather outlook for Mahoning and Trumbull counties due to the heat and humidity for today through Saturday.
Those oppressive conditions can affect humans and animals adversely.
The Niles Police Department reported a neglected dog, left outside without water or shelter, died of a heat stroke in the city Friday.
“We encourage you to contact our department if you witness these things taking pace so that we may avoid tragic circumstances such as we encountered Friday,” the department said on its Facebook page.
The unidentified owner of the dog will be charged with a fifth-degree felony under Ohio’s Goddard’s Law, which prohibits animal cruelty.
Animal activist Jason Cooke reminds people to call the police if they see a dog exhibiting signs of distress, including flipping their water bowl, panting excessively or having excessive feces in their outdoor area.
“Don’t hesitate to call your local police department; they don’t mind checking on the welfare of the dog. They would much rather you call than end up with a dead dog, like with what happened Friday,” he said.
Besides keeping pups hydrated and cool when the weather gets unbearably hot, Cooke also recommends people check how hot the blacktop is before walking their pets.
“If it’s too hot for you, it’s too hot outside for your dogs,” he said.
Niles police warn people not to leave their dogs in a car, even with the window’s cracked, because there’s a greenhouse effect that causes the car to heat up rapidly under the sun.
“It doesn’t make sense to gamble with your pet’s life, go do your shopping and then go home and enjoy your pets,” Cooke said.
The air-quality index in Youngstown will range between moderate and high moderate throughout the week, according to the office of Air and Radiation.
On Monday and Tuesday, the air quality index levels will be moderate, so people who are “unusually sensitive” to hot, muggy conditions should consider reducing prolonged or heavy exertion outdoors.
On Wednesday and Thursday, the levels will be high moderate, and then Friday the levels will be back to good, which means people who are sensitive can also be active .
In Mahoning County today, scattered showers and thunderstorms are forecast with highs around 90. The heat index will reach the upper 90s in the afternoon. The temperature will be in the upper 60s in the evening
Tuesday’s forecast calls for a chance of showers and thunderstorms in the afternoon, and the temperature will be in the upper 80s.
On Independence Day, the temperature will be in the lower 90s but the heat index will reach the upper 90s. The holiday will be mostly sunny, and the heat will extend into the early evening. The early evening may still see a heat index in the upper 90s, with lows around 70.
On Thursday, sunny conditions are expected to prevail with highs in the upper 80s, then a chance of showers an thunderstorms may come after midnight, with a 50 percent chance of rain.
Friday, highs will be in the mid-80s with a chance of showers and thunderstorms.