Health & Safety

July 5, 2013

‘The Heat is On’: Nellis nears record highs

Tags:
Airman 1st Class Joshua Kleinholz
99th Air Base Wing Public Affairs

Airman 1st Class Jeffrey Albright, 99th Security Forces Squadron journeyman, drinks water in front of the Area 2 gate July 2 at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. Working in near-record temperatures as high as 117 degrees, Airmen must hydrate frequently in order to avoid heat related injuries such as heat stroke. Additionally, work-rest cycles should also be considered. The heat wave, which includes parts of California, Nevada and Arizona, is expected to last the rest of the week.

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. — June 21 marked the first day of summer in the northern hemisphere and in just two weeks after summer’s commencement, Nellis is already seeing near record highs.

The latest heat wave to scorch Las Vegas and its surrounding communities brought Nellis’ average June high of 102 degrees up dramatically, at one point hitting 117 degrees according to the base operations weather center. Last month’s highest temperature came just 1 degree shy of Nellis’ highest ever recorded temperature of 118 degrees since 1942.

According to the Weather Channel, temperatures recorded at McCarran International Airport June 30 tied the record for the hottest day for any month of the year in Las Vegas and the city’s hottest day ever in June.

The extreme heat is having many effects on the day-to-day operations carried out on base, with perhaps the most direct action being taken on the flightline.

“In extreme temperatures like these, fighter aircraft can’t take off carrying bombs,” said Staff Sgt. Andrew Farley, 57th Operations Support Squadron weather center shift manager.

Because air density decreases in higher temperatures, small aircraft carrying heavy loads require more speed to achieve the necessary lift to takeoff, a problem that can only be solved with a longer runway.

“Typically when it gets this hot we experience stronger winds that can turn into crosswinds which make takeoffs for any aircraft more difficult,” Farley said. He added that while fighter-type aircraft takeoffs will be restricted, cargo aircraft will not be affected by the heat alone because of their dual-engine layout and greater wing surface area.

Aircraft maintainers working on the flightline, along with other Airmen working in career fields that require time outdoors, will be subject to heightened temperature alerts that require mandatory rest periods and reduced work periods in direct sunlight.

Actions being taken to protect Airmen from the heat are a culmination of lessons learned from operating in an environment where the threat of heat-related injuries is all too real. According to Las Vegas Fire and Rescue spokesman Tim Szymanski, LVFR has received 78 calls concerning heat-related illnesses since June 28, with 28 people being hospitalized.

Master Sgt. Francisco Escobar, 99th Civil Engineering Squadron NCO in charge of 911 dispatch, reports that Nellis emergency services responded to 28 such heat injury-related calls in the months of May and June, both of which saw above average temperatures.

In measuring and predicting weather, Nellis weather Airmen use advanced “Skew-T” technology that allows an almost instantaneous snapshot of the atmosphere. Combine that technology with ground-level surface observations and the weather center is able to accurately measure and predict base temperatures and advise air traffic controllers and aircrews on the safest procedures to follow.

This latest heat wave is bringing temperatures that impress even Nellis weather watchers, who’ve become accustomed to measuring triple-digit heat.

“Typically our average temperature for June is 102 degrees,” Farley said. “This year’s average was about 10 degrees higher than in the past.”

According to the National Weather Service, the latest heat wave to hit the West is expected to bear down on Nellis for the remainder of the week, fading into more average temperatures come mid-July.

For summer survival tips and information on heat-related illnesses contact the 99th Air Base Wing Safety Office at (702) 652-7602.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

First enlisted Airmen awarded Weapons School graduate patches

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. — History was made June 27, when five graduates of the U.S. Air Force Weapons School’s Joint Terminal Attack Controller Weapons Instructor Course became the first enlisted Airmen in the school’s 66-year mission to be awarded the Weapons School’s graduate patch. These graduates will now be recognized as subject matter...
 
 

Staying safe during flash flood season

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. — July is here with high temperatures and a high chance of flash flooding. The months with the highest probability for thunderstorms are July through September. Las Vegas’ annual rainfall is approximately 4.13 inches, and while this may not seem like a lot of rain, the elevation of Las Vegas...
 
 

Conquer fear, live your dream

VANCE AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. — Are you living the dream? Do you wake up with energy each morning or do you need an energy drink to get you going? If you constantly hit the snooze button on your alarm, wake with no energy and low self-esteem, need lots of coffee, soda or energy drinks...
 

 
U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Joshua Kleinholz

Weapons School honors newest graduates

U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Joshua Kleinholz Gen. Lori Robinson, Pacific Air Forces commander, delivers the keynote speech during the U.S. Air Force Weapons School Class 15-A graduation ceremony in Las Vegas, Nev., Ju...
 
 
U.S. Air Force photo illustration by Tech. Sgt. Nadine Y. Barclay

Hunters save lives through RPA Human Performance Team

U.S. Air Force photo illustration by Tech. Sgt. Nadine Y. Barclay Considering the demands facing the remotely piloted aircraft enterprise, Team Creech has formed their own human performance team to meet the needs of those suppo...
 
 
Courtesy photo

Employment Assistance Program aids military members’ transition

Courtesy photo Members of the Nellis community attend a job fair as part of the Airman and Family Readiness Center’s Employment Assistance Program at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., April 23. The Employment Assistance Program he...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>