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Heat wave not ending anytime soon

Photo by Michele Newbanks Alex Klintworth of Belpre mows his Blennerhassett Avenue yard during the hottest part of the day Friday afternoon.

Anyone hoping the heat and humidity will abate soon should prepare instead to hunker down in the air conditioning.

Robert Hart, lead meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Charleston, W.Va., said it will be quite a while before the area gets a break from the heat.

“It looks like for at least the next seven days, if not beyond,” he said. “The hottest days are (today) through at least Tuesday.”

He said the middle to second half of next week has a slight chance of rain. If the Mid-Ohio Valley does see rain, it will help keep temperatures lower.

“It’s also going to feel more humid as well,” Hart added. “It’s not unusual, but it’s definitely going to be the longest heat wave we’ve had.”

He said early to mid-July are usually the hottest times of the year. Last year, the hottest weather happened in late September into early October.

On average, the Mid-Ohio Valley sees 12 to 13 days of above 90-degree weather all year and five or six such days in July. There have been six 90-plus days already as of Friday, with three in July, two in June and one in May.

Alex Klintworth, 27, of Belpre, was out mowing his Blennerhassett Avenue yard Friday afternoon, during the hottest part of the day.

“I just wanted to get out of the house,” he said.

With temperatures in the mid-90s through next week, safety measures taken due to COVID-19 shouldn’t be followed as strictly.

“With the heat that we’re facing the next week or so, a person’s personal safety means it’s more important to stay cool, so we prefer staying cool instead of wearing a mask,” said Washington County Health Administrator Roger Coffman. “The best option for a person who might be overheating is to not wear a mask until it’s cooler outside.”

He said people should still wear masks inside buildings.

To help from overheating while outside, Coffman said people should get a wet towel and keep it on the back of their necks, as well as drinking plenty of ice water.

“Get that ice water and keep those towels if they are watching fireworks in the car,” he added. “It’s going to get hot.”

He noted that symptoms of heat exhaustion include heavy sweating; cold, pale and clammy skin; fast and weak pulse; nausea or vomiting; muscle cramps; tiredness or weakness; dizziness and headache.

According to the Mayo Clinic, untreated heat exhaustion can lead to heat stroke, which is a life-threatening condition. For suspected heat exhaustion, move the person out of the heat and into a shady or air-conditioned place; lay the person down and elevate the legs and feet slightly; remove tight or heavy clothing; have the person drink cool water or other nonalcoholic beverage without caffeine; and cool the person by spraying or sponging with cool water and fanning. They should be monitored carefully and if their condition deteriorates, emergency medical care is necessary.

Michele Newbanks can be reached at mnewbanks@mariettatimes.com.

Five day temperatures:

• Today – High of 92, low of 67.

• Sunday – High of 94, low of 68.

• Monday – High of 95, low of 69.

• Tuesday – High of 94, low of 69.

• Wednesday – High of 94, low of 70.

Source: National Weather Service.

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