East heats up for 'dog days'
By Patrick Cloonan
Published: Tuesday, July 16, 2013, 4:16 a.m.
Heat indexes are expected to top 100 each afternoon through Thursday as high pressure expands over the Eastern United States.
AccuWeather meteorologists said that Mon-Yough temperatures reached 90 with a real-feel of 103 on Monday afternoon.
At Allegheny County Airport, it was 90 with a heat index of 101 at 1:53 p.m., when the humidity reached its high of 62 percent.
Even higher temperatures are likely farther east. The mercury may go to 97 or above through Friday around Washington.
East McKeesport officials urged residents to be careful and to keep an eye on the elderly and pets in a Nixle alert on Monday night.
At about the same time, some in the Eastern suburbs lost power because of a fire at a Duquesne Light building in Edgewood, Trib Total Media news exchange partner WPXI-11 reported.
Earlier in the day a power failure forced the county to close the Boyce Park Wave Pool. It was to reopen on Tuesday for swimming lessons at 10 a.m. and to the public from 11:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Allegheny County's Area Agency on Aging is running cooling centers through this evening in six Pittsburgh neighborhoods.
Included are the Healthy Active Aging Center in Greenfield and the Jewish Community Center in Squirrel Hill.
McKeesport police and fire departments urge residents to check on elderly relatives and neighbors. They posted other tips on their Facebook pages:
• Stay out of the blazing heat.
• Drink a lot of water and juices.
• Avoid alcoholic beverages, coffee, cola and heavy meals.
• Avoid high physical activity.
• Avoid tight-fitting clothing.
• Turn on the air conditioner and avoid using fans without air conditioners running.
Duquesne Light urged customers to set air conditioners at 78 or use fans if health permits.
Duquesne Light spokesman Joey Vallarian said the utility is taking proactive measures in preparation for any interruptions that may occur because of higher electric use.
He said service crews will carry additional transformers while performing routine work. If they have to replace transformers, crews will upgrade each to a larger capacity unit that is better suited to manage a higher usage.
He had other “wise use” tips for customers:
• In homes with window air conditioning units, close off rooms when not in use.
• Make sure all air conditioner filters are clean and in good shape.
• Turn off nonessential appliances and as many lights as possible.
• Postpone using major household appliances like clothes dryers, dishwashers and electric stoves until after 7 p.m.
• Draw blinds, shades or curtains in sunny rooms during the hottest hours of the day to keep out the sun and keep cooler air in.
AccuWeather long-range forecaster Paul Pastelok said the extreme heat likely will not ease until the weekend.
Thunderstorms are possible each afternoon but won't mark a break in the high heat and humidity until Saturday. Rain then may be more of a factor.
“It appears the pattern of frequent showers and thunderstorms will return to the East Coast and Appalachians late in July and much of August,” Pastelok said.
Patrick Cloonan is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1967, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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