What to Know
- The hottest temperatures we have seen in years have rolled and will build to dangerous heat levels by the weekend.
- Soupy conditions Thursday as more rain hits the region ahead of a sweltering hot weekend. A First Alert is in effect.
- Seek shelter in air conditioned spaces and be sure to check on vulnerable neighbors and family members.
More drenching downpours hit our region, causing flooding in some neighborhoods as a sweltering heat wave continues.
Thursday was the coolest day of the heat wave but humid conditions and scattered storms still gripped the area throughout the day.
We have a two-part First Alert for the entire Philadelphia region, except the beaches, through the weekend. Dangerous days of heat and heavy rain began Wednesday afternoon. Pop-up thunderstorms continued Thursday.
Thursday saw periods of drenching rain and strong winds courtesy of the remnants of Barry. The heaviest storms hit Thursday afternoon and by 1 p.m. some storms began popping up in the western suburbs that quickly moved into Philadelphia.
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Localized flooding was a concern as inches of rain fell in some neighborhoods. Other areas only got light rain.
Flash flood warnings were in effect for parts of Atlantic, Burlington, Ocean, Chester, Delaware and New Castle counties.
Flooding was reported along Route 72 in Stafford Township, Ocean County, as well as several roadways in West Chester, Chester County, including Montgomery Avenue and Gay Street.
Temperatures felt soupy Thursday with a high of 89 with a feels-like of 98. But the worst of the heat is yet to come and will peak over the weekend.
The forecast high for Friday is 97, the forecast high Saturday is 101, and the forecast for Sunday is 100. The last time we saw 100 degrees in Philadelphia was back in 2012. We saw two 100 degree days that year and also back in 2011.
The average temperature for this time of year is 87, so we are well above average through early next week.
This year we’ve experienced fourteen 90-degree days but that’s no where near the all time amount of 90-degree days which happened back in 2010: 55 days at 90 or higher!
The weekend will be the most dangerous time because the cumulative effect of the heat will wear on your bodies. Please plan for time indoors using the air-conditioning or a fan with the windows open, check on neighbors and the elderly, use special care for pets and check the coolant levels in your car. And, don't forget to wear sunscreen.
An excessive heat warning is in effect for the urban areas of Philadelphia, Wilmington, Trenton and surrounding suburban areas through Sunday night, the National Weather Service said.
The City of Philadelphia issued its first heat health emergency of the summer, joining other area communities, including Camden, Mercer and Montgomery counties and Wilmington, in launching initiatives for helping people more susceptible to the heat.
"We strongly urge the public to visit older friends, relatives and neighbors to ensure that air conditioners or fans are working and homes are adequately ventilated," Philly Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley said. "In a heat wave, the majority of the victims are older people and those with pre-existing medical conditions."
The only place where you might get some relief from the heat is at the beach, where the strong sun will pose its own risk.
Make plans to spend time indoors and check on neighbors to make sure they are OK during the heat wave. Take special care for pets too.
Thursday's rain came after storms hit the area Wednesday, knocking out power to thousands. PSE&G customers in Ewing Township in Mercer County, New Jersey, were among the hardest hit. A few thousand customers were still without power Thursday morning.
“PSE&G has brought in extra crews to restore service to those who lost power during last night’s storms," the utility said Thursday morning. "About 40,000 customers’ power was restored by 8 a.m."
The National Weather Service said a "downburst associated with a thunderstorm of a squall line" that produced 80 mph straight-line wind gusts was responsible for ripping trees out of the ground in the Ewing Township area. Luckily, no one was hurt.
There were multiple reports of water rescues and homes being struck by lightning in Berks County, Pennsylvania, as well as downed poles and wires on cars in Chester County, Wednesday night.
In Bucks County, the Crestview Center, a nursing rehabilitation facility, was evacuated due to a power outage. A spokesperson for Crestview said 170 patients and residents were relocated.
FRIDAY: Tropical heat and humidity. High in the upper 90s. Feels like 105 to 110.
SATURDAY: Blazing sunshine. Tropical heat and humidity. High around 101. Feels like 115.
SUNDAY: Mostly sunny, hot and humid. High nearing 100. Feels like 110 to 115
MONDAY: Hot and humid. High in the mid 90s. Feels like triple digits.
Correction (July 18, 8:37 a.m.): This story has been updated to correctly show the amount of customers without power in Ewing Township.