Capital Region

Weekend could bring summer’s first heat wave

Humidity also likely rise, though minimal risk of storms predicted
Brayden Conde, 8, of Mechanicville, jumps into Peerless Pool Monday in Saratoga Spa State Park in Saratoga Springs.
Brayden Conde, 8, of Mechanicville, jumps into Peerless Pool Monday in Saratoga Spa State Park in Saratoga Springs.

A heat wave is expected to arrive in the Capital Region on Friday.

Forecasters with the National Weather Service in Albany on Monday said that temperatures are likely to hit the 90s, and remain there, through the Fourth of July.

Meteorologist Brian Montgomery said humidity levels also will increase.

“It could be thoroughly uncomfortable for many people heading into the holiday weekend,” he said.

The hot summer conditions will start when a warm front passes through the area Thursday into Thursday night.

“With the passage of that, all that warm, humid air going on across the central and southern plains will begin to move northeast,” Montgomery said.

“As it does so in the upper levels of the atmosphere, a large high pressure area will begin to develop,” Montgomery said. “That will allow air to sink. With that sinking, there’s also compression which allows the temperatures to moderate even further.”

The high pressure condition is expected to stay in place for five days, and keep temperatures in the 90s. 

“Which would be a heat wave, with three days or more of 90 heading into the holiday,” Montgomery said. “It will definitely be like summer throughout our region.”

Temperatures could reach the mid- or upper-90s. While hot and humid conditions can mean late afternoon thunderstorms, meteorologists said severe weather will not accompany the coming heat.

“With the weather pattern that we’re expecting, thunderstorm potential looks to be minimal at this time,” Montgomery said.

He added that heat waves are not rare. The Capital Region last sweltered through a heat wave in late September, a three-day stretch of 90-degree weather that was unusual for early autumn.

Some supermarket products will become hot items when the weather warms up.

Mona Golub, a spokeswoman for Golub Corp., which operates Market 32 and Price Chopper supermarkets, said water, soft drinks, iced tea, beer and sports drinks, such as Gatorade and Powerade, sell briskly when the heat index rises.

Ice cream products and fresh fruit such as melons and berries will also be on heat wave shopping lists. Golub said the supermarkets are also likely to sell lots of fans and air conditioners.

More people may visit the main branch of the air-conditioned Schenectady County Library.

“Anecdotally, the answer is yes,” said Angela Strong, assistant director for library operations. “We do see more people when the temperatures are hot, people who may not have an air conditioner at home and know the library is air conditioned.”

Some people will have a plan: Strong said they will stock up on DVDs, CDs and books and take them home to their homes or apartments. They’ll stay indoors and out of the heat all day.

The same plan is even more popular in winter, Strong added, as people check out library materials to pass time during storms or cold stretches.

Staying cool this weekend will be one priority. Montgomery said staying smart will be another.

“The common sense thing is, if you have to do anything outdoors, do it first thing in the morning or wait until evening, when the sun is not on top of you,” Montgomery said. “And more importantly, the temperatures won’t be as hot as well.”

Weather authorities say heat becomes especially dangerous if it lingers for more than one day — hot days and warm nights do not give human bodies a chance to cool down.

To beat the heat — or at least cope — meteorologists suggest:

* Checks on friends, family members and neighbors during heat waves.

* Wearing light, loose-fitting clothes.

* Drinking water often. People should not wait until they are thirsty to drink.

* Avoid unnecessary hard work or activities outside, or in any building without air conditioning.

* Stay in an air-conditioned area. Air conditioning is the strongest protective factor, weather officials say, against heat-related illness.

Contact Daily Gazette reporter Jeff Wilkin at 518-395-3124 or at [email protected] 


Categories: News, Schenectady County

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