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Summer temps to arrive a bit early

Region expected to feel near-record heat over weekend

Area residents may want to get out fans and ready their air conditioners as a heatwave will bring hotter than normal temperatures to the region, according to Accuweather officials.

Today’s forecast is for temperatures to hit 89 degrees, just 3 degrees cooler than the record temperature set for May 20 in this area.

Saturday will be worse, according to Accuweather senior meteorologist Paul Walker.

Walker said residents could see temperatures hit a record 94 degrees on Saturday and urged people to check on the elderly and those who don’t have air conditioning.

“Make sure everybody stays cool and has a place to go, like the mall or library, and stay hydrated,” he said.

Walker also cautioned those who will be swimming this weekend.

“The water in lakes is still quite cold, so it can be a shock to your body that causes you to lose breath, your blood pressure to go up and you can even have a heart attack if you’re not careful,” he said.

Walker said that Sunday thunderstorms should lower temperatures and that by Monday, temperatures will drop to below normal for this time of year, with a high of 68.

Mark Taylor, Blair County director of public safety, said that emergency services will be on duty as usual, ready to respond to any heat-related emergencies that might occur.

“We’ll do our normal dispatch with EMS to people needing help,” Taylor said. “It’s pretty much business as usual.”

Taylor said hot weather is nothing new to central Pennsylvanians, but high temperatures this early in the year could be cause for concern.

“I’m not sure what to expect with this coming on suddenly,” Taylor said. “People are pretty resilient, but we worry about people working in the heat with heat exhaustion and heat stroke.”

This will be the first heatwave of the year, which is a concern since it is so early in the season.

“People are pretty accustomed to hot weather once it hits, but it’s a matter of people getting used to it, and we worry about people such as the elderly,” he said.

“Hopefully, it won’t result in any (power) outages,” he added.

In addition to checking on neighbors, area residents are reminded to make sure any outside pets have an abundance of fresh water and shaded areas to get relief from the heat.

Mirror Staff Writer Andrew Mollenauer is at 814-946-7428.

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