Dangerous heat in SE Michigan: Forecast timeline, safety tips, cooling center info, more

Southeast Michigan counties under heat advisories as indices to reach 100-105 degrees

Scorching hot sun (WDIV)

DETROIT – Temperatures are warming to dangerous levels in Southeast Michigan on Wednesday, with heat indices expected to rise to 100-105 degrees.

The heat can pose health problems to humans and pets, especially if they’re spending a significant amount of time outdoors.

Below, we’re breaking down the forecast and timeline for the heat, ways to keep yourself and your pets safe, what heat exhaustion symptoms look like and more.

SE Michigan heat forecast, timeline

Metro Detroit regions south of M-59 are under an excessive heat warning starting Wednesday afternoon. Southeast Michigan communities north of M-59 are under a heat advisory on Wednesday.

Local 4Caster Brandon Roux says: Our highs will likely break a record in Detroit today with 97 degrees as the target, which beats the old June 15 record high of 95 degrees set back in 1988. The humidity will make it feel like 105 degrees, creating concern for heat related illness, especially for anyone who must work outside.

In our North Zone, heat indices are expected to reach between 100-104 degrees. A heat index is a number that combines the temperature and relative humidity in an area.

Here’s the temperature timeline for Wednesday, June 15:

  • Noon: Temperatures will reach 89 degrees
  • 4 p.m.: Temperatures will peak at around 97 degrees
  • 8 p.m.: Temperatures will slightly drop to about 91 degrees

Temps are expected to cool a bit overnight Wednesday and into Thursday, but not much -- our region won’t see relief from the heat until Friday.

Brandon Roux says that a weak cold front will move through Southeast Michigan Thursday morning, but it won’t bring much coolness with it. Low temps are expected to rest around 75-80 degrees Thursday morning, so it will still be warm.

The excessive heat warning technically ends at 8 a.m. on Thursday.

An excessive heat warning has been issued for most Metro Detroit counties starting on Wednesday, June 15, and lasting through 8 a.m. on Thursday, June 16. (WDIV)
A heat advisory has been issued for northern Metro Detroit counties on Wednesday, June 15. (WDIV)
The National Weather Service Heat Index Chart (National Weather Service)

Air quality alert

An air quality alert has also been issued for several Southeastern Michigan counties on Wednesday, June 15. The day is also considered an “ozone action day.”

During a period of alert, air pollutants are expected to be in the “unhealthy for sensitive groups range,” officials say. It may be more difficult for sensitive groups to breathe during this time.

People are recommended to avoid prolonged outdoor exertion, especially those with respiratory diseases like asthma. Everyone is urged to avoid certain activities that “lead to ozone formation” like refueling vehicles, using gasoline-powered lawn equipment and using charcoal lighter fluid.

An air quality alert has been issued in Southeast Michigan for Wednesday, June 15. (WDIV)

Click here to see the latest weather alerts for Metro Detroit.

Staying safe from the heat

Anyone spending a significant amount of time outdoors will want to be extra cautious as temperatures reach dangerous levels. Heat exhaustion and dehydration are serious issues that can occur in people and in pets.

There are a number of steps you can take to protect your health during periods of intense heat. Here are some steps, as listed by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services:

  • Drink more fluids and avoid liquids with large amounts of sugar or alcohol.
  • Limit outdoor activities to when it is the coolest in the morning and evening.
  • Spend time indoors in air conditioning.
  • Wear lightweight, light-colored and loose-fitting clothing.
  • Wear sunscreen, as sunburn affects a body’s ability to cool down.

People are also urged to check on loved ones and elderly neighbors to see if they need any help.

“Young children, older adults and those who have medical conditions are at increased risk for heat-related illness, so be sure to check frequently on them and others in your community who may need additional assistance,” said MDHHS Chief Medical Executive Dr. Natasha Bagdasarian. “Limit time in heat, stay hydrated, avoid direct sunlight and find somewhere with air conditioning or take cool showers. Text or call 211 or contact your local health department to locate a cooling center in your area.”

There are a number of symptoms that may indicate you’re experiencing a heat-related illness. Here are some symptoms to watch out for:

  • Heavy sweating,
  • Muscle cramps,
  • Weakness,
  • Dizziness,
  • Headache,
  • Nausea,
  • Vomiting,
  • Fainting,
  • Extremely high body temperature (above 103°F), and/or
  • Tiredness.

Experts say that if you notice these symptoms in yourself, get to a cool, shaded place and drink a lot of water. If you don’t feel better within an hour, it is a good idea to see a doctor.

If you think you’re experiencing heat stroke, do not wait: Call 911 or get to a hospital right away.

Keeping pets safe

During periods of extreme heat, pet owners are urged to keep an eye on their animals. Experts say pets should be kept in cool places (indoors if possible) and out of the sun.

Animals can quickly become overheated. Here are some tips for keeping pets safe, as shared by the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development:

  • Provide unlimited cool, clean, fresh water to prevent dehydration;
  • Know your pet’s limits when it comes to their ability to tolerate heat, and look for signs of heat stress;
  • Test surfaces so they won’t burn their paws, as asphalt, concrete and sand can get extremely hot in the sun;
  • Do not leave pets in parked vehicles; and
  • Make sure animals have a place to cool down.

Signs of heat exhaustion in dogs include:

  • Excessive panting or drooling,
  • Glazed eyes,
  • Rapid heart rate,
  • Collapse or convulsions,
  • Vomiting or diarrhea, and/or
  • Gums or tongue that turn blue or bright red.

Cooling centers

If you or someone you know does not have access to air conditioning or a cool place during periods of extreme heat, a cooling center is a great place to go to cool down.

Michiganders can text or call 211 to find a cooling center nearest them.

Here are some cooling centers in the city of Detroit:

  • Adams Butzel Complex, 10500 Lyndon (M-F, 8 a.m.-9 p.m.; Saturday 10 a.m.-6 p.m.)
  • Farwell Recreation Center, 2711 E. Outer Drive (M-F, 11 a.m. -7 p.m.; not open Saturdays)
  • Lasky Recreation Center, 13200 Fenelon (M-F, 1–9 p.m.; not open Saturdays)
  • Patton Recreation Center, 2301 Woodmere (M-F, 8 a.m.-9 p.m; Saturday 10 a.m.-6 p.m.)
  • Kemeny Recreation Center, 2260 S. Fort (M-F, 8 a.m.-9 p.m; Saturday 10 a.m.-6 p.m.)
  • Crowell Recreation Center, 16630 Lahser (M-F, 1–9 p.m.; not open Saturdays)
  • Heilmann Recreation Center, 19601 Crusade (M-F, 8 a.m.-9 p.m; Saturday 10 a.m.-6 p.m.)

Detroit Public Libraries are also welcoming visitors during the extreme heat. The following library branches will be open from 10 a.m.-8 p.m. on Wednesday, June 15:

  • Main Library, 5201 Woodward Avenue
  • Campbell Branch, 8733 W. Vernor Hwy.
  • Edison Branch, 18400 Joy Road
  • Jefferson Branch, 12350 E. Outer Dr.
  • Parkman Branch, 1766 Oakman Blvd.
  • Redford Branch, 21200 W. Grand River Avenue
  • Wilder Branch, 7140 E. Seven Mile Road

Click the links below to find cooling centers in:

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About the Author:

Cassidy Johncox is a senior digital news editor covering stories across the spectrum, with a special focus on politics and community issues.