State College, PA - Centre County - Central Pennsylvania - Home of Penn State University

Humidity and Heat Making it (Finally) Feel Like Summer

by on July 01, 2014 2:35 PM

The sidewalks of downtown State College are noticeably emptier Tuesday afternoon, as are the basketball and tennis courts.

It seems that no one wants to be outside with the heat and humidity on the rise.

This sticky conditions are here to stay for the next couple of days. According to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Paul Walker, Tuesday's temperature is expected to reach the upper 80s and maybe even the 90s.

Coming along with the rising temperatures is a chance of thunderstorms Tuesday afternoon and into the evening, Walker says.

Lots of people were interested in beating the heat. While some residents prefer to stay inside their homes with the A/C, others flock to local pools, ice cream shops and area swimming holes.

The Berkey Creamery on Penn State's campus is packed with students and local residents trying to stay cool.

Ivy Li, a doctoral student specializing in counseling, sat outside with her father, Hanlin Li. Ivy's father is visiting from Taiwan, so she wanted to show him one of her favorite places to visit on a hot day.

The father and daughter share a bowl of Peachy Paterno as they converse. Ivy says she visits the Creamery every two weeks during the summer, so she knows it was a good place to show her visiting father.

"If I'm not eating ice cream on a hot day, I'd probably be inside where it's cool," Ivy says. "Most likely, I'd be in the library but I knew I had to show this to my dad."

Similarly, husband and wife Kyle and Megan Betz sat outside while enjoying their bowls of ice cream.

It is a special day for the couple because it is the time their 6-month-old daughter, Lydia, tastes ice cream.

"If it's going to be her first time trying ice cream we figured we'd take her somewhere good," Kyle says. "What's better than the Creamery?"

The Betz family eats ice cream every few days in the summer to keep cool. Another way they frequently beat the heat is swimming. Megan says they usually go to DelGrosso's Amusement Park because there's a kiddie pool for their daughter.

While it's a bit hotter than average, Walker says the temperature won't be anywhere close to breaking any records. The all-time high for July 1 was set in 1931, when the temperature hit 97 degrees.

Walker says the humidity is expected to stick around Wednesday. The temperature will most likely be in the mid-80s, with a possibility of showers and thunderstorms in the afternoon and evening.

It'll cool off on Thursday due to a cold front coming from the west. It will still feel humid but the temperatures are only expected to be in the mid-to-upper 70s.

At this point, Walker says it's not known whether the front will remain in State College for awhile. A tropical storm brewing off the coast of Florida could slow the progression of the cold from the west.

Although the heat and humidity thus far this summer has been typical, Walker says one thing that is unusual for the region is the high amount of rainfall. June was wetter than usual, with the area receiving 5.33 inches compared to a typical 4.11.

Nobody was thinking about rain at one popular hot spot -- the Whipple Dam State Park. Twelve miles south of State College, residents lie outside in the sun, swim in the man-made lake and hike while enjoying the outdoors.

One of those people, Morgan Welsh, a 22-year-old Penn State graduate, takes advantage of her free morning to tan at Whipple Dam. She didn't have to work until 3 p.m Tuesday so she decided to make the trip.

Welsh says she does not go often but when she has a chance, she always enjoys herself at Whipple Dam. Usually, she keeps cool in the summer while staying closer to home.

"I just lay out or stay in the shade of Old Main," Welsh says.

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Jessica Tully recently graduated from Penn State with degrees in journalism and political science. She is a frequent contributor to and has also reported for USA TODAY, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Onward State and The Daily Collegian.
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