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Temperature approaching century mark

heat index soars past 110

Excessive heat warning issued for Berkeley, Jefferson counties

June 29, 2012|By C.J. LOVELACE | cj.lovelace@herald-mail.com
  • Mike Curran wipes the sweat from his head Thursday during a break from mowing work in Hagerstown.
By Yvette May/Staff Photographer

HAGERSTOWN — What is expected to be a sweltering weekend in the Hagerstown area got off to a steamy start, with the temperature threatening to set a record high and the heat index soaring well into triple digits by early Friday afternoon.

At 10:15 a.m. the National Weather Service issued an updated heat advisory for Friday in Washington and Frederick counties, Morgan County, W.Va., and Franklin and Fulton counties in Pennsylvania, lasting until 9 p.m. Temperatures approaching 100 and the heat index - a measure factoring air temperature and humidity - of 105 degrees.

Berkeley and Jefferson counties in West Virginia were under an excessive heat warning until 9 p.m., according to the NWS. High temperatures approaching 100 degrees and heat index values of 110 to 115 degrees are possible, the weather service said.

At 3:55 p.m. Friday, the temperature reached a high of 100.7 degrees in Hagerstown, according to weather observer Greg Keefer’s website, www.i4weather.net.

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The record high temperature for Hagerstown for June 29 is 100, set in 1934, according to Keefer's website.

The heat index peaked at 116.0 at 2:33 p.m. Friday, Keefer's website reported

Temperatures ascended into the lower 90s Thursday afternoon in Hagerstown, serving as a preview of things to come over the next few days.

Thursday’s high topped out at 92.7 degrees at 4:18 p.m., according to Hagerstown weather observer Keefer’s website.

But more heat and humidity is on the way.

“The relief from cooler air is over,” HMTV 6 meteorologist Brittany Beggs said. “Hot, humid air is moving in to much of the northeast.”

Coupled with temperatures expected to rise into the mid- to upper-90s, increasing humidity Friday and through the weekend is going to cause heat index values to reach the 105-degree range, said meteorologist Andy Woodcock of the weather service in Sterling, Va.

In comparison, Thursday’s heat index was 94 degrees, according to Keefer’s website.

The heat wave is expected to last all weekend before high temperatures drop a few degrees at the start of next week, Woodcock said.

But temperatures will be back into the mid-90s in time for the Fourth of July holiday on Wednesday, he said.

The combination of high temperatures and humidity can create situations in which heat-related illnesses, like heat exhaustion or heatstroke, are possible, according to the weather service.

Woodcock said it’s important for people to stay hydrated by drinking water or sports drinks, and avoiding alcohol.

Limiting strenuous work during the hottest times of the day, taking extra breaks and wearing light-colored clothing can help people stay cooler if they must be outside, he said.

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