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Washington Co. remains under heat advisory

July 23, 2010|By KATE S. ALEXANDER

A combination of triple-digit temperatures and high humidity made for a blistering hot Friday across Washington County.

The county was under a heat advisory through 10 p.m. Saturday, according to the National Weather Service.

Shortly before noon Saturday, the temperature in Hagerstown had reached 95.6 degrees and the heat index was at 106, according to i4weather.net, a website maintained by local weather observer Greg Keefer.

Spokesman Stephen Konarik said the National Weather Service issues heat advisories when the heat index is expected to reach 105 degrees.

Heat and humidity combine to measure the index, Konarik said.

"The index is a combination of relative humidity and temperature that calculates what the actual temperature feels like on the skin," he said.

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Friday's high temperature of 101 degrees was recorded at 4:10 p.m. and the heat index reached a high of 109 degrees at 2:36 p.m., according to Keefer's Web site.

Friday's high fell two degrees short of the record for July 23 that was set in 1991, according to Keefer's records.

Hagerstown's record high for July 24 was 98 degrees, set in 1987, the website reported.

If possible, people should remain indoors in air conditioning this weekend, Konarik said. Prolonged exposure to the high heat and humidity increase the risk of heat-related illness, he said.

To avoid illness, Konarik said the National Weather Service advises drinking plenty of fluids and staying out of the sun.

Older people, children and pets are especially at risk, he said, adding they should be monitored to avoid heat-related illnesses.

Pets and children also should not be left unattended in a vehicle, even with the windows down, Konarik said.

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