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Weekend to bring slightly cooler weather

Thursday's heat index in Hagerstown measured 103

June 21, 2012|By CALEB CALHOUN | caleb.calhoun@herald-mail.com
  • Nigel Reeder wipes his eye Thursday morning while tamping hot asphalt at a new turn lane on Edgewood Drive at Howell Road. The mid-morning temperature was already 90 degrees.
By Kevin G. Gilbert, Staff Photographer

Temperatures topped 90 degrees, and the Hagerstown area remained under a heat advisory for much of Wednesday afternoon. Then it got hotter.

The high temperature hit 94.9 degrees at 3:13 p.m. Thursday, exceeding Wednesday’s high of 93.5 degrees, according to Hagerstown Weather Observer Greg Keefer’s Weather Station website at i4weather.net. The heat index — a measure that combines heat and humidity — reached 103.

Although most area residents tried to stay in air-conditioning, that wasn’t an option for others.

Waynesboro resident Stephen Caron, 30, was working at Yinglings Golf Center Thursday, teaching golf at a Junior Golf Camp.

“It was very hot out today,” he said. “I think everybody was suffering through it today. We had water out there for the kids and water for us.”

Despite the heat, Stephen Bender, 49, of Hagerstown chose to go to the driving range at Yinglings Golf Center.

“It’s something to do, and I didn’t feel like working today because it’s so hot,” he said. “The heat’s been no problem. Sure it’s hot, but this is fun.”

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A heat advisory was to be in effect Thursday from 3:30 p.m. until 10 p.m., according to the National Weather Service’s website, weather.gov.

Sally Dozier, 51, of Hagerstown decided to go outside for her lunch break in downtown Hagerstown Thursday despite the heat.

“I enjoy getting outside as much as possible,” Dozier said. “I drink plenty of fluids, stay hydrated and wear proper attire. That’s why I’m in a sundress today.”

Wednesday and Thursday were the first sustained heat the area has seen this year, according to Potomac Edison spokesman Todd Meyers.

Meyers said the heat had not caused any problems relating to electricity in Washington County through Thursday afternoon.

“So far we have had no trouble in the electric system,” he said. “Any time something might come up, we’ll be ready.”

Potomac Edison crews prepare for hot summer days throughout the year, he said.

“Our crews go out and inspect lines and try to determine if there’s any equipment ready to fail,” Meyers said. “We also try to do maintenance on substations before hot weather occurs.”

He said residents can do many things to save energy when the weather gets this warm, including hanging drapes to keep out sunlight, keeping air-register areas free, planting shade trees and closing fireplace dampers.

Meyers also said 78 degrees is a good benchmark for air conditioning.

“You can be somewhat comfortable and save money in your bill,” he said. “Every degree below 78 adds about 3 percent to your bill, and every degree above 78 saves about 3 percent.”

The high Friday is expected to reach 89 degrees, and then 86 degrees both Saturday and Sunday before dropping to 83 degrees Monday, according to the weather service website. Isolated thunderstorms could also be likely Friday with a 60 percent chance of precipitation.

How to save money on your energy bill

Here are some tips on how to save on energy costs during the summer:

  • Close air-conditioning registers in unused rooms and keep the doors closed.
  • Make sure the air registers are free. Don’t put pieces of furniture over them.
  • Don’t put appliances that produce heat near thermostats on walls.
  • Set air conditioners a little warmer on hotter days. Every degree adds or subtracts about 3 percent from your energy usage.
  • Make sure the fireplace damper is closed.
  • Switch to compact fluorescent light bulbs.
  • Close drapes or blinds on windows that receive direct sunlight.
  • If your home has an attached garage, keep the garage door closed during the hottest times of the day.
  • Put window air-conditioning units in areas where there is shade.

Source: Potomac Edison

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