For Immediate Release: May 31, 2023

Media Contacts: 
Ben Truman │ Vermont Department of Health
802-316-2117 │ [email protected] 

Mark Bosma │ Vermont Emergency Management
802-839-6717 │

Scott Whittier │ National Weather Service
802-658-0150 │

Unseasonable Heat Expected in Vermont this Week
Stay cool, stay hydrated, stay informed

BURLINGTON, VT – Unseasonably hot temperatures are expected to impact Vermont this week, with high temperatures forecast in the upper 80s to low 90s from Wednesday through Friday. These conditions create a serious risk for heat-related illnesses, such as heat stroke, and state officials want people to know how to stay safe and healthy when the thermometer climbs. Vermonters can find tips and information in 12 languages, as well as an interactive map of cooling locations, at

“During hot weather, your body’s temperature control systems can have a hard time keeping up,” said Jared Ulmer, Climate and Health Program manager with the Department of Health. “It’s important to ease into outdoor activities, to drink plenty of water and to take frequent breaks in the shade or cool indoor locations, especially during these first really hot days of the season.”

Keep watch for symptoms of heat illness − muscle cramps, heavy sweating, nausea, headache, or light-headedness. Most heat illnesses can be treated by drinking fluids and resting in a cooler place. If symptoms persist or get worse, or someone you are with seems confused or loses consciousness, dial 9-1-1 and get immediate medical help. 

Certain people are at a higher risk of heat-related illness, including those who work or exercise outdoors, people who are unhoused, older adults, and young children. People who have disabilities, chronic medical conditions, are overweight, are taking certain medications, or are using drugs or alcohol are also at higher risk. Consecutive hot days with warm overnight temperatures are particularly dangerous for people without access to air conditioning, especially if they live alone. 

While many head for the lake to cool off, cold water temperatures are still a concern. Lake Champlain has yet to reach 60°F, and many other recreational waters are also at temperatures that can cause hypothermia. Limit your time in the water, and always have a life jacket when boating.

Tips for Staying Safe and Healthy in Hot Weather:

  • “Look Before You Lock!” Never leave children, people with disabilities, older adults, or pets in a closed vehicle. 

  • Drink plenty of water, or non-alcoholic and decaffeinated fluids.

  • Seek relief in air-conditioned spaces or other cool and shaded places (interactive cooling sites map at: 

  • Check in on loved ones and neighbors to make sure they are safe — especially those who live alone, have mobility issues, or do not have air conditioning. 

  • Wear lightweight, light-colored clothing to reflect heat and sunlight. 

  • Limit outdoor activities during the hottest part of the day.

  • Close window shades during the day. Keep windows closed when it is hotter outside than inside. Avoid using appliances and lights that generate heat.

  • Make sure pets have water and a cool place to rest.

A new Health Department analysis shows how Vermonters’ health is affected by the heat index – the “what it feels like” temperature. “When relative humidity increases, it’s harder for sweat to evaporate, which makes it harder for people to cool off,” said Ulmer. 

According to the analysis, people in Vermont are more than −

  • Five times as likely to go to the emergency department for heat-related illnesses when the heat index reaches the 80s

  • Ten times as likely to go to when the heat index reaches the low 90s

  • Twenty times as likely to go when the heat index reaches the upper 90s or hotter

Heat risks are especially high early in the warm season because our bodies need time to acclimate to hot weather. When daily high temperatures consistently stay above 80°F, these risks drop by more than half.

“Being aware of heat risks and how to stay safe is increasingly important,” said Ulmer. “Due to climate change, heat waves in Vermont are already occurring more frequently and with more intensity than they did in the recent past.”

Vermont Heat Safety Resources:

The National Weather Service issues a heat advisory, watch, or warning when the forecasted heat index is dangerously high. Visit for detailed heat forecast and safety information.

Subscribe to VT Alert at to be notified by phone, text or email when a heat alert is issued. 

Additional Resources:

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