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It's a hot week in the Fay-West

| Wednesday, June 26, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
Evan R. Sanders | Daily Courier
Hunter McLaughlin (green shirt), 5, of Connellsville mimics driving a fire truck while Ayden Fox (red shirt), 5, of Mt. Pleasant and Hunter's brother Colby (striped shirt), 3, look on as they play on playground equipment at Frick Park in Mt. Pleasant on Monday June 24, 2013. Hunter and Colby McLaughlin were visiting their grandmother who is a Mt. Pleasant resident. The trio were participating in a summer camp program organized by the Regional Family YMCA in Mt. Pleasant and sponsored by Mt. Pleasant Parks and Recreation. The summer camp, which is ongoing until Aug. 2, is open to children in grades kindergarten to seventh and is open to residents of Mt. Pleasant.
Lori C. Padilla | For the Daily Courier
Rafters and fisherman enjoy the cool waters of the Youghiogheny River in Connellsville.
Lori Padilla | For the Daily Courier
Riding their recumbent trikes, Beth Siegelbaum and her husband Ed Holowinko of Norwalk, Conn. met Wes Swenson of Florida and rode together while on the Yough River Trail. The Rails to Trails riders began their trip in Pittsburgh on Sunday and hope to reach their destination of Cumberland, Maryland on Thursday. Monday's heat wasn't deterring them.

Without even counting in the humidity factor, temperatures this week are going to be higher than normal for this time of year.

Lee Hendricks, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, said high temperatures will be in the mid- to high 80s at least through Thursday.

Normal temperatures for this time of the year are highs of about 80 degrees and lows of about 60 degrees.

“We will have a chance of thunderstorms just about every day this week, but they won't be bringing in any cooler weather initially,” Hendricks said.

There is a front moving through Friday that should bring some storms as well as cooler temperatures, but for the next few days it's going to feel hot and sticky, Hendricks said.

The state's Department of Environmental Protection issued an air quality alert for several counties in Southwestern Pennsylvania, including western sections of Westmoreland and Fayette counties.

Hendricks said with temperatures staying around the same over the next few days, he wouldn't be surprised if the alert was reissued for a few more days this week.

“People with asthma or heart disease or elderly or small children should try to stay indoors, but if they go outdoors, they really shouldn't participate in any strenuous activities,” he said.

Dr. William A. Jenkins, director of the emergency medicine department at Excela Health, Frick Hospital, gave a few guidelines to stay safe in hotter temperatures.

One of the obvious is to try and stay cool.

“If you don't have air conditioning, seek shelter or refuge in a place that does, such as cooling stations, malls, theaters or wherever they can,” he said.

Second, individuals should drink plenty of noncaffeinated drinks, although water is the best, to stay well hydrated.

For sun protection, don't forget to put on sunblock and wear hats or light-colored clothes.

Jenkins said it's important for individuals to check on their neighbors, especially if they're older

“If you need to work outside do so early and later, not midday when temperatures are at their highest,” he said. “And if you start to get symptomatic from the heat — muscle cramps, dizziness, nausea, faintness, faint — seek a cooler environment immediately, drink water and call for help.”

Hendricks said temperatures should cool off by Friday and by Sunday temperatures should be a little below the normal with a predicted high of 76 degrees.

Rachel Basinger is a freelance writer.

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