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Oppressive Heat to Grip Centre County This Weekend

by on July 18, 2019 6:50 PM

A widespread heat wave will impact Centre County this weekend with temperatures and humidity that can be dangerous for those working outside and certain populations such as the sick, elderly and infants.

Temperatures will reach into the 90s Friday through Sunday, and combined with oppressive humidity, it will feel well over 100 degrees. The National Weather Service has issued a heat advisory from noon Friday to noon Saturday and an excessive heat warning from noon to 8 p.m. on Saturday. An excessive heat warning is issued for a heat index of 105 degrees or greater that will last for two or more hours, according to NWS. A heat advisory in Pennsylvania is a heat index of 100-104 degrees.

AccuWeather senior meteorologist Alan Reppert said that Friday's high temperature in State College is expected to be 92 degrees, just shy of the record of 94, set in 1930.

"On top of the heat we’re going to be quite humid too," Reppert said. "We’re looking at the humid weather sticking around today through the end of the weekend really."

There won't be much relief overnight either, with the temperature only dropping down to about 76 degrees, 13 degrees above normal.

Saturday's forecasted high is 93 and nighttime temperatures agains will only dip into the mid-70s. Reppert said that AccuWeather's RealFeel, which takes into account numerous meteorological factors, will reach "well into the 100s" during the hottest times throughout the weekend.

Sunday will continue to be hot and humid with a high around 90.

Reppert said throughout the weekend people should drink plenty of water and stay inside in air conditioning or otherwise cool places as much as possible and especially between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. when the sun is highest. 

Gov. Tom Wolf's office also urged residents to follow these safety tips during extreme heat:

- Drink plenty of water and do not wait until you are thirsty to drink more fluids;

- Avoid drinks with caffeine, alcohol, or large amounts of sugar, as they can cause dehydration;

- Stay indoors in air conditioning as much as possible – this is the best way to protect against heat-related illness and death;

- Avoid long periods in the direct sun or in unventilated rooms;

- If you must be outside in the heat, reschedule activities for cooler times of the day, and try to rest often in shady areas;

- Dress in light-colored, loose-fitting clothing, a wide-brimmed hat, and sunglasses – and use a sunscreen of SPF15 or higher;

- Take frequent baths or showers and remain in a cool place;

- Check on those who might be more at risk from high temperatures like infants, children, or older individuals; and

- Never leave your children or pets inside vehicles.

Secretary of the Department of Aging Robert Torres reminded residents to check on the elderly.

“With the extremely high temperatures we are expecting to see, it’s important that we check on our older neighbors, friends, and family members to make sure they are staying cool,” Torres said in a press release. “Pennsylvania’s network of Area Agencies on Aging is a great resource for seniors or their caregivers to find senior centers acting as cooling centers if needed.”

Centre County's Office of Aging can be contacted at (814) 355-6716. For after hours emergencies, call county emergency communications at (800) 479-0050

Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine said infants and people suffering from illness are especially vulnerable to excessive heat, which can also be dangerous for all people.

“Extreme heat poses a danger to all Pennsylvanians, and we urge everyone to be aware of the potential for heat-related illnesses,” Levine said. “Heat stroke and heat exhaustion are both serious, and potentially life-threatening illnesses that can occur very quickly when high temperatures occur. Drink plenty of water and if you must be outside, take frequent breaks and use sunscreen.”

Infants and children should never be left in a vehicle and cracking a window is not enough when temperatures begin to rise.

Livestock and pet owners also should take precautions to protect their animals from high temperatures that can cause them to suffer from heat-related stress and illness. 

Pets also should not be left in vehicles or indoors without proper ventilation. When outdoors they should have access to plenty of water and shade. 

“Excessive heat can put tremendous stress on both people and animals, and Pennsylvanians should take care to ensure the safety of domestic animals as well as livestock,” Secretary of Agriculture Russell Redding said. “By knowing the signs of heat stress and taking the proper precautions - like providing shade, water, and plenty of ventilation - animal owners can protect the health of livestock and pets, whether they live in the home or in the barn.”

After this weekend, the region should see a quick break.

"Monday we’re looking at a break with a chance of a shower and a high of only 79 degrees," Reppert said.

Geoff Rushton is managing editor for Contact him at [email protected] or find him on Twitter at @geoffrushton.
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