Air conditioner, cold soda season arrives

You’d better hope your air conditioner is working. If the weekend weather forecast is right, you’re

You’d better hope your air conditioner is working. If the weekend weather forecast is right, you’re going to need it.

The mercury is expected to spike into the 90s today, Sunday and Monday, with humid air making it feel like August, rather than early June.

Companies that do business in air conditioning and pools are keeping busy because of the forecast, including Boyce and Drake of Saratoga Springs, which sells and repairs air conditioners.

Owner Chris Cocozzo said his employees worked late this week as some people tried to fire up their air conditioners after a long winter and realized something was wrong.

“Of course everybody’s called between Monday and Thursday saying they want it by Friday afternoon,” he said Friday. “It slips people’s minds until they watch the weather and they see the weather’s going to be 90 degrees.”

Ashley Healey, manager of Caribbean Pools and Spas in Schenectady, said the store has been busy with people dropping in to look at new pools.

“There’s been such a difference in the amount of people this week compared to previous weeks,” she said.

The above-average temperatures will come courtesy of a high-pressure system that is expected to sit off the East Coast through early next week, bringing hot air from the Southeast into our area, said Brian Frugis, meteorologist for the National Weather Service.

Tuesday’s high is expected to be in the mid-80s.

Average temperatures for this time of year are in the 70s, Frugis said.

Organizers of a charity walk in Albany have prepared for the heat wave with extra cold beverages for the expected 1,700 walkers.

“We’re definitely ordering a lot more ice and a lot more water and soda than we ever have before,” said Rob Puglisi, spokesman for The Community Hospice.

The organization has ordered more than 3,000 bottles of water and soda and more than half a ton of ice to keep drinks cool for the seventh annual event, which begins at 10:30 a.m. today at the University at Albany athletic fields.

“We want to make sure that because we’re expecting a lot of walkers, they’re all as safe and comfortable as possible,” Puglisi said.

He doesn’t expect many people to back out of the walk because of the weather, since the mile-and-a-half walk will be over before the day really heats up.

“I think the weather would have to be really significantly bad to keep people away,” he said.

At least it won’t be a morning like Friday, when the Capital Region awoke to thunderstorms and heavy rain. Some areas, like Niskayuna, saw hail as well, Frugis said.

The National Weather Service recorded 1.72 inches of rain at Albany, with reports of between an inch and a half and two inches in other parts of the region.

The storms also knocked out power in Schenectady, Glenville, Scotia, Clifton Park and Colonie on Friday.

About 3,000 customers were without power in Glenville and Scotia into early Friday afternoon. And about 1,200 customers in Schenectady lost electricity when a tree fell on Watt Street before 2 a.m. Their power was restored about an hour later, said Patrick Stella, National Grid spokesman.

“We’ve seen a lot of lightning strikes this morning,” Stella said Friday.

This weekend, an isolated thunderstorm is possible but not likely, Frugis said. “We’re not really looking for any widespread rainfall at all.”

As the mercury rises, the American Red Cross and the state Department of Health are warning people to protect themselves against heat-related illness.

The elderly, young children and people with breathing problems or chronic diseases are especially prone to heat stroke and heat exhaustion, said state Health Commissioner Richard Daines.

Heat stroke requires immediate medical attention, and symptoms are hot, dry, red skin with a rapid pulse and body temperature of at least 105 degrees. People with heat stroke also can become confused, breathe rapidly and lose consciousness.

Heat exhaustion is not as serious, but it can lead to heat stroke. Symptoms include excessive sweating, fainting, vomiting, cold, pale and clammy skin, dizziness, headache, nausea and weakness.

If heat stroke is suspected, help should be summoned by calling 911. Move the victim to a cool area and apply a wet sponge or ice pack to the pulse points. Heat exhaustion victims should be moved to a cool place and given half a glass of water to sip every 15 minutes. Cool, wet cloths should be applied to the victim’s neck, face and arms, the Health Department said.

Categories: Schenectady County

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