What to Know
- A First Alert was in effect through Wednesday night due to oppressive heat, humidity and scattered strong storms.
- High temperatures Wednesday were in the low 90s, but felt closer to 100.
- People should take extra steps to stay cool and pay attention to young children, the elderly and pets.
As another scorching heat wave grips the Philadelphia region, scattered strong storms brought heavy downpours throughout the area Wednesday.
A First Alert for the oppressive heat and strong storms lasted through Wednesday at 11 p.m. for the entire region. The humidity is making the already high temperatures feel even more oppressive.
Wednesday was hot and humid before storms moved in during the afternoon and early evening.
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The humidity on Wednesday built as the high pushed into the 90s, giving fuel to strong storms in the late afternoon and evening. The storms brought down trees and power lines in Berks County. Heavy rain and lightning also hit the Philadelphia area Wednesday night.
The hottest time of the day was from around 10 a.m. to 3 to 4 p.m., First Alert Weather meteorologist Steve Sosna said. Due to the urban heat island effect, in which buildings and concrete retain heat, some of the most oppressive conditions were felt in urban areas. "It will probably be a good five to seven degrees warmer in the urban areas, especially at night," Sosna said.
The heat poses a threat to everyone, so people should remember to stay hydrated (drinking mostly water and keeping alcohol to a minimum), avoid prolonged periods of direct sun exposure and reapply sunscreen every few hours.
Keeping your body cool will be key. You can take a cool shower or find a pool. If you don't have air conditioning, you can look for a place like a shopping center, library or movie theater that does. People should also leave windows at least slightly cracked to allow air to recirculate inside their homes, Sosna said.
"It's important to give your body a break because the heat adds extra stress because your body is working harder to cool itself off," Sosna said.
Extra precautions should be taken for young children, the elderly and pets.
The latest heat wave is the fifth of the season and is being caused by heat from the southern part of the U.S. moving north, Sosna said. In Philadelphia, the highest temperature resulting from the heat waves has been 98 degrees, while the highest feels-like temperature has been 110 degrees.
More storms are in the forecast on Thursday as a cold front finally moves through. Once the heat breaks come Friday, more comfortable and mostly clear conditions are expected through the weekend with plenty of sunshine and highs around 80.
The conditions into next week are going to be fall-like, Henley says.
For the latest on the heat wave, tune into the NBC10 News First Alert Weather Team on air and download our app to be prepared for the pop-up storms.