BY ERINN CALLAHAN
KILLEEN DAILY HERALD
It’s a good summer, or even year, in Central Texas when July rolls around without temperatures having yet reached 100 degrees.
Although that streak is expected to end Sunday in the Temple-Waco area, Killeen will dodge the century mark for at least another week, according to the National Weather Service in Fort Worth.
Killeen temperatures will reach 97 degrees Saturday and Sunday, climbing to 98 degrees Monday. On Tuesday, temperatures will fall to 90 degrees as a rain chance arrives, dipping to 88 degrees before the week ends.
Although temperatures haven’t yet reached the triple digits in Killeen, local roofing and landscaping companies are nonetheless taking precautions to shield their employees from the heat.
“Everybody watches out for everybody, making sure if anybody gets overheated, they come off the roof and cool off,” Potter said.
Employees at Precision Landscaping and
Lawn Precision in Killeen often drain a case of water in a day, Office Manger Beverly Schwartz said.
“Keeping hydrated is the main thing,” she said. “We provide lots of water.”
Workers typically wear light, long-sleeved cotton shirts to protect their skin from the sun, Schwartz said, along with a hat to shield their faces.
“We try to get them in the shade as much as we can, but long sleeves keep them from getting a sunburn,” she said.
Mastersson Roofing and Spray Foam, a Temple-based roofing contractor that serves the Killeen-Fort Hood area, recently switched to a synthetic blue felt material for its underlayment. The synthetic underlayment absorbs less heat than the black felt material the company typically uses, said Bill Potter, owner of Mastersson.
“It’s a better product, and it’s easier on the roofers,” Potter said.
Beyond that, Potter said the employees try to arrive at work earlier in the morning, when temperatures are cooler, and take a break in the early afternoon when conditions heat up.
Heat, humidity and time all factor into an individual’s reaction to summer temperatures.
When a breeze hits perspiration, it has a cooling effect, however, if the humidity is high, sweat will not evaporate as quickly, preventing the body from releasing heat quickly, said Dr. Dominic Lucia, medical director of emergency medicine at McLane Children’s Hospital Scott & White in Temple.
The high today is expected to reach 97 in Killeen, and inch up through the weekend to 98 on Monday.
Janice Gibbs with FME News Service contributed to this report.