07/26/05 — Hot weather

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Hot weather

By News-Argus Staff
Published in News on July 26, 2005 1:54 PM

Record high temperatures for Wayne County could be broken this week, although it would take a little doing.

The highest temperature ever recorded for the month of July was 108 degrees on July 22, 1932, according to the Southeast Regional Climate Center.

Temperatures today and Wednesday have to top 102 and 105, respectively, to break the maximum high for those dates. Both records were set in 1940 -- before air conditioning. The forecast for today and Wednesday calls for highs of 102 with heat index values topping 110 degrees.

As the temperature soars, people around the county are doing what they can to carry on with their daily routine.

Laverne Henderson of the city's Parks and Recreation Department said youth day camps are proceeding as scheduled but that some activities have been moved indoors. Others are conducted during the mornings and late afternoons.

"We've rescheduled trips to Putt-Putt," she said. "The tennis has been shortened to maybe 30 minutes instead of 45 minutes."

Ms. Henderson said children receive constant water breaks while playing. A large sprinkler gives them a chance to cool off as well and a waterslide has proven popular.

W.C. Humbert, director of outdoor recreation at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, said attendance at both of the base's swimming pools has increased.

"They're filling it up. You're seeing it full kind of all day," he said.

"We probably run twelve to fifteen-hundred people a day between the pools. At any given time there's 250 people in the Olympic pool."

Other activitieis, such as the batting cage and go-cart track, are not as popular until the cooler evening hours, he said.

"The ladies in women's fitness center are doing the water aerobics to keep cool as well," he said.

Bethany Magera of Grand Rental Station on Berkeley Boulevard said people are drinking slushees and renting waterslides and snow cone machines to keep cool. Dunking booths are also a popular item, she said. She recommended adding ice to the dunking tank.

"It definitely cools you off," she said.

Workers on Pikeville's sewer project are starting early and trying to miss the hottest parts of the day, said Perry Jones of Pikeville Public Works.

"They start early in the morning, and take frequent breaks," he said. "That's the best thing to do for everybody, when you're working outside. Take frequent breaks, find a shade tree, and drink plenty of water."

Relief from the heat is on the way in the form of cooler weather -- highs in the upper 80s and lower 90s and lows around 70, according to forecasters. The break in the heat should be accompanied by thunderstorms Thursday and Friday, with some storms expected to produce 1-2 inches of rain an hour. More rain is in the forecast for the weekend.