Capital Region

Too hot to handle? Weather system bringing the heat

92 degrees sets new record for May 17
The clock/thermometer at the entrance to Socha Plaza in Glenville on Wednesday.
The clock/thermometer at the entrance to Socha Plaza in Glenville on Wednesday.

Nobody — or nobody who isn’t your boss — would probably blame you for playing hooky on Wednesday.

After hunkering down through a couple of weeks of chilly and wet spring weather, Capital Region residents got the chance to feel a summer-like sun on Wednesday, as the afternoon temperature hit 92 degrees at Albany International Airport, setting a new record for the date. The old record, 89 degrees, had stood since 1977.

RELATED: Full forecast

Last time we hit 90 was last Aug. 14, nine months ago, though it got up as high as 87 degrees on two dates in the middle of April.

There’s a meteorological explanation for what’s happening.

“We kind of have a really strong high pressure system off the Southeast coast, what we call a Bermuda high, which is a more typical summer pattern,” said Joe Villani, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Albany. “It brings a lot of very warm air up toward us.”

The forecast high for Thursday is 93, one degree less than the record for the date, which was set in 1962. “We might get close,” Villani said.

The high temperatures are bringing warnings about not over-exerting outdoors.

The 38th annual Corporate Challenge run — one of the region’s largest 3.5-mile races, with 10,000 people registered to participate in a run in downtown Albany — is set for early Thursday evening, and organizers plan to be ready if the heat gets to anyone.

“Every year we have a full team of medical staff, EMS, Albany fire, and we have water stops along the race course,” said CDPHP spokeswoman Deanna Amore, a member of the race committee. “This year we have added additional water to the water stops; there will be EMS in the Washington Park. We have medical tents.”

But runners and walkers will also be encouraged not to need them. “We’re telling everybody to know their limits, not to push themselves,” Amore said. “It’s common sense. If you feel dizzy or light-headed, don’t push yourself.”

On the back of their running bibs, there is a spot to fill in emergency medical contact information, and participants are being encouraged to fill it out.

Warmer temperatures will also come as a relief to farmers, many of whom are already late planting crops due to cool temperatures and wet conditions.

“It’s been difficult for a lot of farms to get into his fields,” said Steve Ammerman, a spokesman for New York Farm Bureau. “Statewide, one-third of corn should be planted by now, and only 11 percent is.

It isn’t the rain alone that had delayed plantings — cool air temperatures also mean the soil hasn’t warmed as much as farmers would like. “Farmers certainly appreciate this weather,” Ammerman said of the warmth.

After Wednesday and Thursday’s temperature spikes, a cold front is expected to arrive, and temperatures should settle into a much more seasonable range, with daytime highs in the 70s through the weekend and into early next week.

Reach Gazette reporter Stephen Williams at 395-3086, [email protected] or @gazettesteve on Twitter.

Categories: -News-, Schenectady County

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