Philly heat wave rages on through July 4 week

Eduardo Velev cools off with a fire hydrant during a heatwave on July 1, 2018 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. An excessive heat warning has been issued in Philadelphia and along the East Coast as hot and humid weather hits the region. Photo: Getty Images

The first major heat wave of the 2018 summer season is not backing down just yet, with a heat index of up to 105 degrees in Southeastern Pennsylvania prompting an “excessive heat warning” on Monday. 

Philly started really sweltering on Friday, with temperatures reaching the high 90s through Sunday. Now meteorologists with the National Weather Service are saying an extended period of “dangerously hot weather” will continue through midweek “with the potential for heat-related illness… especially the elderly and those in poor health.”

The highest heat index values will occur from late morning into the early evening, according to the NWS. Heat indexes may exceed 100 degrees on Tuesday, July 3 and Wednesday, July 4. Temperatures will remain in the 90s through Thursday, with thunderstorms breaking the heat wave Friday. Finally, temperatures will drop into the 80s on Saturday and Sunday. 

As a result of this week’s excess heat, experts are recommending people take extra precautions and look out for one another.

“The heat may be life-threatening to the elderly and those in poor health, due to prolonged exposure without air conditioning, especially those in urban centers where low temperatures in the middle to upper 70s will offer little relief. The heat and humidity may cause heat stress during outdoor exertion or extended exposure,” the NWS wrote in its warning.

Meteorologists recommended people who spend time outside reschedule strenuous activities to the early morning or evening, and know the signs of heat exhaustion and heat stroke. People are strongly encouraged to stay hydrated at all times. 

How to avoid heat stroke

• Know the signs of heat stroke, like headache, lightheadedness, muscle cramps, nausea or vomiting. Call 911 if you or someone else shows any signs.

• Stay hydrated — even if you don’t feel thirsty. And be sure to keep your pets hydrated on their walks, too.

• Stay out of the sun if possible, but if you have to be outside, be sure to wear at least SPF 15 and a hat for protection and dress in lightweight, light-colored, loose clothing. 

• Avoid strenuous activity, especially during the peak sun hours between 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

• If you don’t have an air conditioner, consider going to one of the city’s public pools or air-conditioned areas like libraries, movie theaters or one of the city’s many cooling centers — you can find your nearest cooling center via 311.

Additional reporting by Nikki M. Mascali

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