Hottest day so far this year

Posted: July 09, 2007

As of 3:30 p.m., the thermometer officially hit 96, making today the hottest day of the year so far.

On June 27, the high was 95.

This morning, the National Weather Service issued an excessive heat warning for today and tomorrow for Philadelphia and its surrounding counties on both sides of the river.

The heat index - how hot it feels when humidity is factored in - was expected to reach or exceed 100 degrees.

At such levels, people should take precautions to avoid heat-related illnesses, the service said.

"It will be a hot spell," said Jim Poirier, a meteorologist with National Weather Service in Mount Holly.

Even this workweek broiler will, more than likely, fall short of the records set in 1936. Back then, the high for July 9 topped out at 103 degrees and July 10 hit 104 degrees.

"That 1936 was probably a real barn-burner," Poirier said.

Western states are giving Hades competition. In recent days, Montana, Idaho and Utah have seen triple-digit records set or tied. The mercury reached 105 in the north-central Montana town of Havre, 106 at the Gallatin Field Airport near Bozeman and 107 in Missoula.

As the week progresses, though, the local highs are expected to be decline, dropping into the 80s for Thursday and Friday.

Yesterday's high of 92 was just a warm-up.

At the Hispanic Fiesta at Penn's Landing, the Avendano family of five from Wilmington found relief in water ice, which melted faster than Adriana, 2, could gobble it. "It's way too hot," complained her mother, Tiffany.

"And we forgot our stroller," said her father, Carlos, as he juggled Madia, 1, and an Ecuadorian flag.

Across the river, Bob Fay of Pennsauken hawked pretzels and cool drinks outside the Adventure Aquarium. "There's a breeze, thank God," he said.

Meg Gehan of Bernardsville, N.J., couldn't wait to get inside the fish house. "Something like an aquarium has to be air-conditioned," she figured.

Weather service hot-weather tips:

Drink plenty of fluids.

Avoid extended periods in the sun.

Stay in air-conditioned or well-ventilated places.

Check on neighbors and relatives.

Make sure pets are cool and have water.

For advice by phone: Call the Heatline of the Philadelphia Corporation for Aging, at 215-765-9040.

For additional forecast information: Go to

Contact staff writer Peter Mucha at 215-854-4342 or

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