County tries to stay cool amid heat wave
90s expected in Cecil through week
— Bethany Reynolds spent the hottest part of Tuesday with her daughters — Alethia, 3, and baby sister Regan — refreshing themselves in the new outdoor swimming pool at the YMCA of Cecil County near Elkton.
The highest temperature
for Tuesday was a muggy 92 degrees, recorded in the early afternoon. The coolest temperature for Tuesday, a balmy 72 degrees, would occur shortly before midnight, according to projections by meteorologists.
For Cecil County and the surrounding area, Tuesday marked the fourth day of a heat wave that is expected to last through Saturday. In broad terms, three consecutive days or more with temperatures of 90 degrees or higher constitutes a heat wave.
“The only way I could image being outside on a day like today is to be at the pool,” said Reynolds, a North East-area resident. “Otherwise, you’re stuck inside with the air-conditioning. That’s why we’re here.”
That’s apparently why dozens of other adults and children were wading, swimming and playing in the YMCA pool on Tuesday afternoon
“It’s so refreshing,” said Sheila Snelling, a Cecil County resident who was
enjoying the cool water with her son, Joshua, 7.
The outdoor pool has been attracting people since it opened about two months ago, said George Patchell, executive director of the YMCA.
“It’s very busy today, but I can’t say it’s a significant surge because it’s been pretty busy at the pool all summer. We’ve had quite a few warm days,” he commented.
This latest heat wave — there have been at least two others this summer — started Friday when high temperatures were in the low 90s. That hot weather remained through the weekend into Monday, the most stifling day in the series.
“It was very oppressive. It felt like it was 105 to 110 degrees,” said Lance Franck, a National Weather Service meteorologist who is stationed at Mt. Holly, N.J.
Franck was referring to humid- ity, wind or lack thereof, and other standard factors, which made Monday’s temperature feel hotter than it actually was. Franck reported that the 96-degree temperature logged in Wilmington, Del., the closest official recording site to Cecil County, tied a record for that day, which was set on July 25, 1987.
Reporters with Baltimore-based TV news shows, meanwhile, reported that Monday’s high temperature was 100, not counting the humidity and other factors. In Elkton, the digital Cecil Bank sign on North Street read 102 degrees shortly after 1 p.m. Monday.
Tuesday was back down to the low 90s, and the humidity had dissipated slightly. The same type of weather appears to be in store for the next few days, Franck said, qualifying that forecasts as of Tuesday indicated that Thursday could be even hotter and stickier than the remaining days in this heat wave.
“We could be into the mid to upper 90s on Thursday, and it could be more stifling,” Franck said. “It Elkton resident Jeffrey Wineholt uses a patriotic-themed umbrella to protect himself from the sun as he walks down Railroad Avenue on Monday, the hottest day so far in this long heat wave.
all depends on the dew point (reading). A few degrees one way or the other could make a difference.”
The likelihood of afternoon and, or, evening showers will be greatest on Thursday, and they are expected to alleviate the mugginess, according to Franck.
“We should get some relief by Friday. A cold front will be approaching,” Franck said, adding
that Friday and Saturday likely will be in the low 90s, but with much lower humidity, and that the high temperature should be in the 80s by Sunday.
At least one law enforcement agency in Cecil County used its Facebook page this week to caution residents about the high heat and to give tips on how to safely function in it.
“I was out in it, and I could tell how dangerous it was. I’m a pretty fit guy, and I could feel it. This is the kind of heat that can overcome even the fittest of people, let alone the elderly and people with medical conditions. I just wanted to make the public aware,” explained Capt. Joseph Zurolo, spokesman for the Elkton Police Department.
The list of posted tips includes moving outdoor activities to morning and evening hours, drinking lots of water and decaffeinated beverages, wearing lightweight clothing, limiting outdoor activities and wearing sunscreen outdoors. It also warns not to leave pets, children or elderly people in cars.
Kathryn McKinney, executive director of promotions and marketing for Union Hospital in Elkton, reported that three patients were treated for heat-related problems at that medical center on Monday, the hottest day thus far in the heat wave.
No patients required treatment for heat-related medical issues over the weekend, she noted.
Regan Reynolds crawls in the shallow end of the new outdoor pool at the YMCA of Cecil County near Elkton on Tuesday. She was under the watchful eyes of her mother, North East-area resident Bethany Reynolds.