Summer is not messing around this week with dangerously hot temperatures forecasted for NW Arkansas and the River Valley.

A strong ridge of high pressure and southerly winds will help increase temperatures and humidity across the region through the rest of the week. Heat advisories and excessive heat warnings have been posted by the National Weather Service for Tuesday – Thursday across the region.

Difference between a heat advisory & excessive heat warning for NW Arkansas & the River Valley. Both alert types require the criteria to be reached for at least 2 consecutive hours.

Temperatures will likely reach the upper-90s and low-100s and potentially threaten record-highs for many. Drake Field in Fayetteville is expected to hit 100°F for the first time since July 20, 2018.

Heat index values (feels-like temperature) will be over 100°F for several hours each day, increasing the risk for heat exhaustion and heat stroke. The worst time to be outside will be during the late afternoon & early evening hours when daytime heating is at its peak. Strenuous outdoor activities should be limited as much as possible during these hours.

If you have to work or be outside in the heat, take breaks often and wear light-colored, loose-fitted clothing. Also, be sure to drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. If you feel light-headed or dizzy, stop and move to an area that is cool.

The heat & humidity will be more intense in the River Valley compared to Northwest Arkansas. Fort Smith Regional Airport is forecasted to hit 100°F each afternoon thru Friday, July 8, 2022. Thursday and Friday are expected to be the most intense days with the heat for everyone.

While hot temperatures and high humidity is not uncommon for our region in the summer, we still see some people get into trouble because of the heat. In fact, excessive heat is the number 1 weather killer each year in the United States of weather phenomena on average. Here are some symptoms to keep an eye out for when being outside over the next several days.

Signs & symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

Some ways to beat the heat include drinking plenty of water, taking breaks often, and limiting strenuous activity outside.

Also, remember to check on the elderly during periods of intense heat & always look before you lock if you have kids or pets. Do not leave them in the car, even with the windows cracked open. Vehicles can heat up to dangerous levels extremely quickly in these conditions.

Speaking of pets, make sure they have plenty of water and a way to get out of the sun and cool off.

To get the latest information on the heat and forecast, be sure to download our FREE NWA Weather Authority app!