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Officials Issue Bizarre and Humorous Public Service Announcements During Latest Heatwave

By Jeremy Sandberg

The National Weather Service (NWS) in Omaha, Nebraska conducted a demonstration on July 18 by cooking biscuits inside a car in the hot sun, to warn the public about the danger of leaving children and pets inside vehicles in high heat.

The NWS Omaha documented their experiment on their Twitter and Facebook pages during a heatwave across the central and eastern United States.

“If you are wondering if it’s going to be hot today, we are attempting to bake biscuits using only the sun and a car in our parking lot,” said NWS Omaha in a Facebook post. “We will keep you posted with the progress. Stay cool!”

Facebook users had some fun in the comments of the post, with one user writing in reply, “I hope you didn’t leave an intern in the car to monitor the progress.”

Another user replied, “Hope they don’t burn.”

About an hour later, the NWS Omaha posted an update, saying the baking pan had reached 175 degrees in 60 minutes, with the tops of the biscuits reaching 153 degrees.

“This is a good time to remind everyone that your car does in fact get deadly hot,” said NWS Omaha. “Look before you lock! On average 38 children die in hot cars each year. Don’t be a statistic!”

Later in the day, updates were posted saying the back seat of the vehicle had reached 120 degrees Fahrenheit in the shade, and a few hours later was up to 144 degrees.

At the end of the day, the culinary artists over at NWS Omaha were able to have a tasty treat before heading home.

“After nearly 8 hours in the sun, the outside of the biscuit is actually edible,” NWS Omaha wrote. “The middle is still pretty doughy though. The max temp on the pan was 185!”

All in a days work for NWS employees, using a creative way to remind of the importance of not leaving your loved ones in a vehicle on a hot day.

Corny Reminder

In Montgomery County, Maryland, the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service (MCFRS) decided to have a little fun with their public service announcement on July 20, issuing a reminder on their Twitter page with a picture of popped corn still on the cornstalk.

“Just in case you need another reminder of how HOT it is,” the MCFRS wrote on Twitter. “Keep cool friends! Please take this dangerous heatwave seriously.”

A few hours later, after several media had reported on how “It’s so hot corn is popping in Montgomery County,” an update was made by MCFRS on Twitter, acknowledging the picture was fake and made as a joke.

“We love corn dogs, unicorns, creamed corn & popcorn,” said MCFRS on Twitter. “However this pic is not something WE have actually seen—simply a little ‘it’s HOT out there please be safe’ humor to remind folks to take heat warnings seriously. Sorry to anyone we may have mislead, confused or made hungry.”

Some users on Twitter joined in the fun commenting on how the popcorn appears to have been buttered.

One Twitter user said, “Besides the butter giveaway…”

Another user on Twitter replied, “I was wondering why the popcorn looked like it’d been buttered…”

Serious Business

Meanwhile in Massachusetts, the Braintree Police Department (BPD) had another idea. Politely requesting potential criminals to hold off on any “criminal activity” until the heatwave was over.

“Due to the extreme heat, we are asking anyone thinking of doing criminal activity to hold off until Monday,” said BPD on Facebook. “It is straight up hot as soccer balls out there. Conducting criminal activity, in this extreme heat is next level henchmen status, and also very dangerous.”

The BPD continued to ask for no spoiler alerts to the TV show Stranger Things as they were just finishing season 2, and suggested they reconvene when the heatwave ends.

“Stay home, blast the AC, binge Stranger Things season 3, play with the face app, practice karate in your basement We will all meet again on Monday when it’s cooler,” BPD wrote in the Facebook post.

Street hockey during Heat Wave
Street hockey players compete in a pick-up game near the White House during a heat wave in Washington on July 20, 2019. (Alex Wroblewski/Getty Images)

NWS DC/Baltimore issued a public announcement on Twitter on July 20, reminding people to stay hydrated and to take breaks from the sun.

“Mid-afternoon heat indices are above 100 across much of the region,” said NWS DC/Baltimore on Twitter. “Hydration and breaks from the sun are very important today!”