The hottest temperatures of the year are expected over the next several days, according to the National Weather Service, prompting officials to warn residents of the dangers of high heat.


The NWS forecast for Thursday and Friday calls for a high of 94 degrees in Pine Bluff, with heat index values close to 100. Saturday’s high is expected to hover around 100 degrees, with a heat index above the triple-digit mark. The Weather Channel has local temperatures soaring even higher on Saturday, as meteorologists there are predicting a high of 103.


Some relief is expected on Sunday, according to the NWS, which is predicting a high of 91.


The American Red Cross offers the following safety tips during extreme heat: Never leave children or pets alone in enclosed vehicles. Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids even if you do not feel thirsty; Avoid drinks with caffeine or alcohol. Eat small meals and eat more often.


Avoid extreme temperature changes; Wear loose-fitting, lightweight, light-colored clothing. Avoid dark colors because they absorb the sun’s rays. Slow down, stay indoors and avoid strenuous exercise during the hottest part of the day.


Postpone outdoor games and activities; Use a buddy system when working in excessive heat.


Take frequent breaks if you must work outdoors. Check on family, friends and neighbors who do not have air conditioning, who spend much of their time alone or who are more likely to be affected by the heat. Check on your animals frequently to ensure that they are not suffering from the heat.


At the Crenshaw Springs Water Park in White Hall on Wednesday afternoon, crowds of people enjoyed the cool water as temperatures rose to the mid-90s.


Michah Cantwell said, “I like the water park a lot, my favorite thing to do is the water slide.”


Malachi Cantwell said that he enjoys the lazy river and climbing on the rock wall.


Lifeguard Paden Floyd said she expects this summer to be busy at the park.


“We have a lot of fun, and it’s safe for kids,” she said.


Commercial freelance correspondent Chelsea Jackson contributed to this report.