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Region bakes

High heat, humidity prompt heat advisory

High heat, humidity prompt heat advisory

July 18, 2006|by PEPPER BALLARD

WASHINGTON COUNTY

With a heat index of 105 degrees Monday and advisories in effect warning of associated health risks, some area residents said they dealt with the heat by avoiding it.

Although high temperatures were in the upper 90s Monday, a combination of humidity and temperature made it feel like about 105 degrees, said Calvin Meadows of the National Weather Service.

Typically, this time of the year, temperatures are in the upper 80s, he said.

"We'll break the heat with the cold front that moves through Tuesday ... then temperatures will be in the low 90s and overnight lows in the upper 60s," Meadows said.

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A heat advisory was in effect Monday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. for all Maryland counties, excluding Garrett and Allegany counties, he said.

Heat advisories were posted for the entire state of New Jersey, most of eastern Pennsylvania and southern New York, as well as throughout the central Mississippi Valley and the South.

Highs at least in the 90s were expected to be seen in almost every state from coast to coast.

The Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene warned residents in a written release to take extra precautions to fight against heat exhaustion and heat stroke, conditions associated with such temperatures.

Heat stroke occurs when body temperature exceeds 105 degrees. Symptoms include dry, reddened skin, convulsions, disorientation, delirium and coma, the release states. Because of dehydration, heat exhaustion might include extreme weakness, muscle cramps, nausea or headache.

At the Centre at Hagerstown, Crystal Ott, 29, of Thurmont, Md., said she was trying to go to as many places with air conditioning as she could. She just got back from the beach, where it was hotter, but said she's not finished with summer.

"This is my time of the year," Ott said.

Nathan Stephenson, 20, of Hagerstown disagreed.

"I avoid the sun as much as possible when it's a day like this," he said.

Arlene Householder of Martinsburg, W.Va., said it was unusual for her to be out in the heat.

"I don't come out," she said. "I'm only out today because I had doctors' appointments."

Meadows said the area will see some relief from the heat today when a cold front moves in. Another cold front will move in late Thursday, triggering possible showers and thunderstorms, Meadows said.

There is a 30 percent chance of afternoon thunderstorms today, which will take some of the humidity out of the air, making possible highs in the mid-90s, Meadows said.

It will be partly cloudy overnight with a chance of thunderstorms, he said. On Wednesday, highs are expected to be in the upper 80s, and highs Thursday are expected to be in the low 90s with a chance of showers or thunderstorms.

"The next front's going to move in late Thursday and weaken the heat," he said. By Friday night, more showers and thunderstorms are expected, Meadows said.

Temperatures will remain in the low 90s through Sunday, he said.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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