Check the weather before you travel

Published 7:00 am Friday, February 16, 2018

The weather here in the Deep South is known for being notoriously unpredictable. One day it might be cold and rainy, and the next it might be hot and humid. While weather forecasts may not always be completely accurate, checking the local news or a weather app before going on an adventure could help prevent a potential tragedy.

Last February while I was living in Japan I was invited to join several friends for a hiking trip in the mountains. The weather was getting warmer in the little valley I lived in, so I didn’t think twice before dressing in jeans and a light jacket. Unfortunately for me, three hours later I found myself hiking through waist-deep snow alongside a frozen waterfall. The only thing that kept me warm was the sun shining down in spots through the trees. All of my friends had thought to check the weather before we left the city. They packed up gloves, scarves, hats, and marshmallow jackets. I thought they were being paranoid. As it turns out, they were being smart. While we don’t often have to worry about freezing weather here in South Mississippi, there are plenty of other weather conditions to watch out for before planning a weekend adventure.

Summer is still several months away, but the weather in Pearl River County is already getting warmer. When planning a camping trip or family excursion, check the weather and take precautions to prevent anyone suffering from heatstroke. A study by the Victoria State Government suggests drinking plenty of water, keeping to the shade and wearing light clothing to avoid overheating. Another common danger in Mississippi is torrential rain that leads to flash flooding.

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Before planning a boating or camping excursion check the weather, not just in the nearby area, but in areas further north as well. A heavy downpour can cause rivers to swell and flood as they flow downstream. As spring draws nearer and the risk of heatstroke increases, be careful to prepare for the weather before adventures to be sure they are safe as well as fun.