Alle-Kiski Valley folks finds ways to beat the heat, humidity
Sylvan Park Pool in Harrison seemed the perfect spot for folks looking to beat the scorching summer heat that overtook the Alle-Kiski Valley this weekend.
About 200 people attended Friday’s night family swim — which normally sees an average of 75 to 150 people — due to the soaring temperatures, pool manager Nancy Tarella said.
“They didn’t want to get out of the pool at 10 p.m.,” Tarella said. “The guards had to blow their whistles — a lot.”
For the first time in seven years, the National Weather Service issued an excessive heat warning for the Pittsburgh region that was in place Friday through 8 p.m. Saturday.
The high temperature Friday, recorded at the Pittsburgh International Airport, was 87 degrees, the weather service reported. Saturday’s high, also recorded at the airport, was 89 degrees.
“I didn’t believe it was actually going to be this hot,” Ashli Blackburn, 29, of Charleroi commented as her two sons played in the park’s kiddie pool on Saturday.
“I actually bought a membership specifically today because it was so hot,” Blackburn’s boyfriend, Daniel Abbott, 29, of Harrison said. “With the kids and it being so nice, it’s hard to keep them cooped up in the house.”
Saturday’s dew point reached 76 degrees, which is very unusual, NWS meteorologist Matthew Kramar said. The dew point is a measure of humidity; anything 70 or above in considered to be particularly uncomfortable.
“We don’t see that very often around here at all,” Kramar said.
Because the heat and humidity could have potentially caused heat stress to people who may have been working outside or were outside for an extended period of time, the weather service encouraged people to limit their time outside, stay hydrated and wear lightweight and loose fitting clothing.
Faith Goetz, who was at the pool with her daughter, Joanna, said her advice for people to stay cool in higher temperatures is to drink lots of water, eat watermelon and wear cool clothing.
Goetz’s family used to live in Florida, so she is used to high heat and humidity. She feels bad for people who don’t belong to a pool or who don’t have air conditioning.
“It can be very oppressing for sure,” she said.
The weather may have been hot, but not as hot as it has been in the past, according to weather service meteorologist Michael Brown.
Brown said the highest temperature ever recorded for Friday, July 19, was set in 1876 and 1894, when both days had a high of 97 degrees. The highest temperature recorded for Saturday, July 20, was 100 degrees. That was set in 1878.
Pool-goer Lindsey Wislie said the warm weather is a welcome relief from all the rain the region has been getting this year. She was at the pool with her niece, Maria, and her nephew Derek.
“I’d rather take heat over rain,” said Wislie, 32, of Lower Burrell.
Attempts to reach spokespeople for UPMC and Allegheny Health Network to see if any hospitals treated anyone for heat-related ailments were unsuccessful.
Madasyn Czebiniak is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Madasyn at 724-226-4702, [email protected] or via Twitter .