By Rick Dandes
The Daily Item
The scorching heat that blanketed the Valley on Monday is expected to stick around through Friday, with blistering daytime temperatures averaging at least 96 degrees.
“This is all being caused by a Bermuda High that is stationary, like an anchor, over the entire Northeast,” said Mike Pigott, a meteorologist with AccuWeather in State College. “Unfortunately, there will be no relief until at least Saturday, when a cold front will move in, probably causing thunderstorms, some severe.”
In Valley towns such as Selinsgrove and New Berlin, today’s expected high of 96 is only two degrees lower than the all-time record of 98, set on the same date in 1995. Northeast coastal cities will reach or even exceed 100 degrees during this week-long heat wave.
If you wanted to find some cooler weather, you’d have to travel south to Miami, in the mid-80s today, or Acapulco, Mexico, 87 today.
Monday’s high temperature of 93 felt even worse than that, Pigott said. “Thanks to the humidity, it felt like 108 degrees.”
A break in the heat will occur only on Sunday, when temperatures should drop to the low 80s.
All of this pales in comparison to America’s highest temperature, 134, on July 10, 1913, in Death Valley, Calif. — the highest recorded temperature in the Western Hemisphere. It is also the second hottest temperature ever measured in the world. El Azizia, Libya, is at the top of that list with a broiling high of 136 degrees on Sept. 13, 1922.
Late Monday afternoon, the Pennsylvania Department of Aging issued a heat advisory, warning to all senior citizens about the heat wave.
The Area Agency on Aging is recommending that seniors take precautionary measures to avoid the dangers from the excessive heat, but it’s probably a good idea for everyone at any age to take this advice:
Drink plenty of fluids.
Wear lightweight and loose-fitting clothing.
Stay in an air-conditioned setting.
Use fans and air conditioners instead of having concerns for an electric bill increase.
Minimize time spent outdoors and stay out of the sun whenever possible.
Check on relatives and neighbors who may be susceptible to heat-related conditions.
Maintain an awareness of the indicators of heat exhaustion and heat stroke. If any of these signs and symptoms becomes apparent, move to a cool and shaded area and seek the necessary medical treatment.
All Northumberland County Senior Action Centers will be open from 8 a.m. - 6 p.m., today through Friday.
Contact the Area Agency on Aging if you feel anyone may be in an emergency situation at (570) 495-2395 from 8:30 a.m.- 4:30 p.m. After hours, call toll free at 1-855-313-4387.
Individuals with pets also need to be careful, particularly if they are in a home without air conditioning, said Cheryl Hill, owner of Mostly Mutts, a dog rescue shelter in Sunbury.
“Keep the air moving in your home by using fans,” Hill suggested. “And keep the fans low to the ground. Make sure there is plenty of water around for them. If the dog likes to be in water, buy a kitty pool.”
Try to keep your pet in the shade if you must be outside, “and keep your dog from running around and exercising in the heat of the day,” she said. “Walk the dog early in the morning, the coolest part of the day, or after sunset.”
Most importantly, if you think your pet is having problems with the heat, take them to a veterinarian right away.