CADILLAC — Weather conditions this weekend are expected to be nearly perfect for those planning to spend some time outside, with plenty of sun and little to no rain.
Accuweather Meteorologist Tom Kines said temperatures during the next several days, including July 4, are forecasted to be several degrees above normal for this time of year, with some days reaching into the high 80s and possibly the 90s.
The National Weather Service's five-day forecast mirrors Accuweather's predictions, with sunshine and temperatures hovering between 87-90 degrees through Friday.
Kines said a hot, rainless weather pattern has settled over the northeast part of the country as an active storm front cuts a swath across the central U.S.
This boundary separates very humid air streaming in from the Gulf of Mexico from mainly dry and rather pleasant conditions across parts of the Great Lakes and the central Appalachians.
Accuweather's long-term forecast for the rest of summer calls for temperatures 1-2 degrees above normal as a result of the Jet Stream being shifted farther north, warding off colder winds from Canada.
So far since the beginning of May, Kines said temperatures in the Cadillac area have been around 1 degree below normal, with slightly above average rainfall amounts, but he said it appears as though the hot-weather trend is beginning to settle in.
Rain is not expected in the Cadillac area at least until Sunday, when isolated showers and thunderstorms are possible.
Conditions in the Cadillac area are quite dry, with fire danger "high" to "very high" as of Monday, said Paul Rogers, fire prevention specialist for the DNR’s Forest Resources Division.
The DNR currently is not issuing any burn permits for Wexford, Missaukee, Osceola and Lake counties, and Rogers said it's likely that these restrictions will last through the weekend, at least.
Those planning to shoot off their own fireworks would be wise to make sure they have a bucket of water handy, said Rogers, who added that it's also important to know where aerial fireworks will be landing to make sure they don't start a grassfire.
Bruce Tower, forest fire supervisor for the DNR's Cadillac Management Unit, said it's important to remember that shooting off fireworks on state and federal lands is illegal and he added that people should always check their local units of government to make sure there aren't any additional limitations on when and where they can be fired.
Tower said there have been a handful of grassfire reports in this region but so far, they've been pretty manageable; firefighters responded to a 3-acre fire near Lucas and county line road in Missaukee County on Monday.
While the DNR isn't issuing burn permits, Rogers said people can still have small campfires, assuming they properly monitor them and extinguish embers when they're finished.
As temperatures rise, public health authorities warn of the dangers of overheating
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 600 people die from extreme heat every year.
The CDC reports the main things affecting the body's ability to cool itself during extremely hot weather are high humidity and personal factors.
When humidity is high, sweat won’t evaporate as quickly. This keeps the body from releasing heat as fast as it may need to.
Personal factors such as age, obesity, fever, dehydration, heart disease, mental illness, poor circulation, sunburn, and prescription drug and alcohol use all can play a role in whether a person can cool off enough in very hot weather.
The CDC offers the following tips on staying cool:
• Stay in air-conditioned buildings as much as you can. Contact your local health department or locate an air-conditioned shelter in your area. Air-conditioning is the No. 1 way to protect yourself against heat-related illness and death. If your home is not air-conditioned, reduce your risk for heat-related illness by spending time in public facilities that are air-conditioned and using air conditioning in vehicles.
• Do not rely on a fan as your main cooling device during an extreme heat event.
• Drink more water than usual and don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink.
• Check on a friend or neighbor and have someone do the same for you.
• Don’t use the stove or oven to cook — it will make you and your house hotter.
• Schedule outdoor activities carefully.
• Wear loose, lightweight, light-colored clothing and sunscreen.
• Pace yourself.
• Take cool showers or baths to cool down.
• Never leave children or pets in cars.
• Check the local news for health and safety updates.