In case you haven't heard — maybe because you've been laying low in your air-conditioned house watching holiday movies and wishing for Christmas in July — this whole week will be a scorcher.
The temperature probably won't hit 100 in Northeastern Pennsylvania, but it could feel like it given the humidity, so Mr. Heat Miser (aka Mr. Heat Blister and Mr. 101), that grumpy hothead from the children's TV Christmas special “The Year Without a Santa Claus,” would probably enjoy a vacation here.
WNEP-TV Channel 16 Chief Meteorologist Tom Clark is predicting temperatures in the 90s all week long, noting that at least three or more consecutive days with a high temperature at 90 or above constitutes a heatwave.
“And when you factor in the humidity, it can feel like it's near 100,” Clark said, referring to the heat index.
“It's not really the danger level, but it is the cautionary level. You need to get over 105 on the heat index to be in the danger level, but we could reach 95 to 100 this week on the heat index. Be careful, take it easy. Muscle cramps, dizziness and heat stroke can come on if you over-exert yourself in this kind of heat,” Clark said.
You know it's going to be bad when municipal employees show up for work at 5:30 in the morning when there's no snow on the ground, and that's the case in Kingston.
The municipality issued a press release Monday alerting residents that the Department of Public Works will operate from 5:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. today through Friday “due to the excessive heat.” Residents are advised to place garbage and recyclables curbside the night before their scheduled pickup.
The reason for the heatwave, Clark said, is that the jet stream has shifted north into Canada, allowing “this big dome of hot air to sit right over Pennsylvania and the entire Northeastern United States, really. It's just going to sit here this week and not get dislodged until this weekend when a cold front comes down from Canada.”
The heatwave should be over by Sunday, but not before that, Clark said.
He said there's a better chance for a thunderstorm later in the week, which some folks might welcome.
“It will temporarily (lower the temperature) in those areas that get a thunderstorm because they can act as atmospheric thermostats, lowering the temperature 15 degrees in a matter of minutes.”
Clark said the highest July temperature on record locally was 103 degrees in 1936, and that record is not likely to be broken this year.
But we might be approaching record levels later this week, especially Wednesday and Friday, Clark said. Record highs for July 17 and July 19 are 96 and 95 degrees, respectively.
“It seems to get about this hot every year, but this year could stand out for the length of the hot weather,” Clark said.