The National Weather Service Office in Lake Charles has posted a heat advisory for almost all of South Louisiana. That heat advisory will go into effect at noon today and will last until 7 pm tonight. The reason for the advisory is to add extra emphasis on just how dangerous the hot weather can be.

The advisory states that heat indices of up to 109 degrees can be expected during the hottest part of the day today. If you're not familiar, the Heat Index is also known as the "feels like" temperature. It's the combination of the actual air temperature and the relative humidity and how those two factors relate to your body.

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Forecasters with the National Weather Service say that you should stay hydrated if you do have to be outside. That means drinking plenty of fluid at regular intervals to help your body maintain a safe core temperature.

If you must work outside, it's suggested that you become familiar with the warning signs of heatstroke and heat exhaustion. Both of those maladies can be quite dangerous when the temperatures get this hot.

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Heat Exhaustion- The individual becomes dizzy or nauseous and might begin to sweat profusely. Their skin could actually feel cold and clammy and muscle cramps are a sure sign the body is having difficulty managing the heat.

Heatstroke - They might actually stop sweating. That's not good. Their body temperature could rise well above 100 degrees and they will often complain of a throbbing headache. A person suffering a heatstroke might also lose consciousness. This would be the time to dial 911, if actually, not sooner.

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Obviously, in either case, quick action is necessary to prevent the issue from escalating.

Prevention might be the best medicine in the case of extreme heat. If you can avoid the outdoors during the heat of the day then you are ahead of the game. If you can avoid doing strenuous activities such as lawn work, sports, or laying asphalt you will definitely be ahead of the game.

However, just sitting in the heat for prolonged periods of time can be an issue too. Heck, even a walk around the neighborhood can be dicey if you aren't drinking your water. You might want to also include a rub down of the face and the back of your neck with a cloth dipped in cold water after that walk just to make sure you're body is cooling off the way it needs to cool off.

Don't forget to check on your pets during periods of extreme heat. Make sure they have fresh cool water to drink and a shady place to relax especially during the hottest part of the day.

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There is a 50% chance that at least some of us will be cooled off by an afternoon shower or thunderstorm today. However, even those that get rain will likely get just a brief respite from the oppressive heat.

Showers and thunderstorms do stay in the South Louisiana forecast for at least through Friday. Again, most of those showers and storms will come in the form of the afternoon and early evening showers and thunderstorms.

So, as you contemplate ways to cool off, we have a few great ideas for you.

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