Excessive heat watch issued for Pittsburgh region
Dangerously hot temperatures are expected to blanket Southwestern Pennsylvania beginning Friday afternoon as part of a heat wave stretching from the Great Plains to the East Coast.
The National Weather Service issued an excessive heat watch for the Pittsburgh region through Saturday evening, meaning a prolonged period of heat and humidity is expected.
Heat index values may reach more than 105 degrees with temperatures in the 90s and dew points in the 70s.
“It’s going to be oppressive,” meteorologist Rich Redmond said.
Here is the expected maximum heat index for Friday AND Saturday. Please practice heat safety–limit your outdoor activities, drink plenty of water, and make sure you, your babies, and your furbabies stay out of hot cars. #heatsafety pic.twitter.com/2TWgqoZTnh
— NWS Pittsburgh (@NWSPittsburgh) July 18, 2019
Also of concern is that it won’t cool down much at night, Redmond said. The nighttime lows will be in the mid-70s thanks to the high humidity, meteorologist Myranda Fullerton said.
“Having temperatures that warm at night is pretty rare,” Redmond said.
Heat and humidity may cause heat stress during outdoor exertion or extended exposure, the watch states. Heat illnesses are possible.
Residents are advised to drink plenty of fluids, stay in air-conditioned rooms, stay out of the sun and check on relatives and neighbors.
Pittsburgh will have cooling centers open from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday at three senior community centers:
• Greenfield, 745 Greenfield Ave.
• Homewood, 7321 Frankstown Ave.
• West End, 80 Wabash Ave.
It will remain warm Sunday, with heat index values in the 90s, Redmond said.
Relief is expected as drier air moves in early next week, and the dew point is expected to go down into the 50s, “which will feel a lot better,” Redmond said.
Excessive heat warnings and watches along with heat advisories are in effect for much of the Great Plains, the Mississippi and Ohio valleys and the Eastern Seaboard as part of “a true summer heat wave,” the NWS said.
Advisories stretch from southern South Dakota through Oklahoma and eastward through the Midwest and parts of the South. They cover all of Ohio, part of West Virginia and much of Southwestern Pennsylvania, including Allegheny County and eastern and central Westmoreland. Also under an excessive heat watch are parts of New England, New York, New Jersey and the Philadelphia region, as well as Washington, D.C., Northern Virginia and Delaware.
“Highs in the 90s and triple digits combined with humidity and dew points surging into the upper 70s, if not low 80s, will create heat indices as high as 110 to 115 through this weekend,” the agency said.
Brian C. Rittmeyer is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Brian at 724-226-4701, [email protected] or via Twitter .