Scorching week ahead

Predicted top temperatures for Sale:

Monday – 30

Tuesday – 40

Wednesday – 39

Thursday – 36

Friday – 41

Saturday – 29

Sunday – 25

THIS week will be a scorcher, with top temperatures forecast in the high 30s and low 40s.

Tuesday’s predicted top is 40 degrees Celsius, and the UV index will be extreme this week, with hot nights and no relief in sight until Sunday.

The hotter temperatures will also bring the risk of bushfires.

While the high temperatures will persist all week, local fire and weather watcher David Packham is predicting Friday’s weather conditions as the one to watch.

“The hot spell (this) week should not cause any trouble, but do keep an eye on the forecasts; Friday may become a problem,” Mr Packham said.

Friday’s temperature is predicted to reach 41 in Sale.

The scorching temperatures will also disrupt V/Line services.

People travelling by train this week should phone V/line’s customer service line on 1800 800 007 for more information on the service’s hot weather time table, as a number of services will be replaced by coaches as the temperature rises above 36.

People are being urged to keep cool by staying indoors or in the shade, drinking lots of water, wearing light clothing, avoiding strenuous activity and, if heading outdoors, remember to cover up and wear a hat, sunscreen and sunglasses.

While an ice cold beer or soft-drink might sound like the perfect thirst-quenching end to the day, people should drink in moderation as these drinks can be dehydrating.

Caffeinated drinks such as tea and coffee should also be consumed sparingly.

While anyone can become dehydrated, those at greater risk are young children, the elderly or people with chronic illnesses.

As temperatures soar, people are being advised to regularly check on the welfare of older relatives and neighbours.

Another health concern, particularly for the elderly, is heat stress.

People suffering from heat stress should be cooled as quickly as possible by whatever means is on hand a sponge, fanning, cool shower or even squirting them with a garden hose.

Red Cross emergency services state manager Adam Dent urged people to stop by and visit those who might be vulnerable.

“You might also be able to help with drawing blinds or awnings, or doing some shopping,” Mr Dent said.

Residents can download a ‘Coping with hot weather’ fact sheet from www.redcross.org.au/beat-the-heat.aspx or contact their local Red Cross office for a copy.

It provides tips for coping with heat, how to help others and what to do in the case of heat exhaustion or heat stroke.

Those with concerns about their health should see a doctor.

Pets will also suffer from the heat and owners should make sure their pets have plenty of water and access to shade, and shouldn’t walk dogs in the heat.

People are also being urged to use their vehicles sparingly and go out at the coolest times of the day.

They are being advised to wind down windows or use air conditioning, place sunshades on the windows, and never leave children or pets in vehicles.

Gippsland Water’s customer services and communications general manger Paul Clark said people of all ages and fitness levels should be careful as temperatures rose.

“Don’t wait until you feel thirsty to reach for a glass of water; continue to sip water through the day,” he advised.