Berks County is in a heat advisory until 8 p.m. Sunday with a couple of hot days ahead, but an end is in sight of a heat wave that began Tuesday and is forecast for an eight-day run.
Meanwhile, the northern halves of Chester and Montgomery counties are also in the same advisory, but the southern halves are in an excessive heat warning until 8 p.m. Sunday.
That warning also includes Delaware County, Philadelphia and all the adjoining counties in New Jersey and Delaware state.
The actual forecast highs are the upper 90s Saturday and ditto for Sunday, though 100 is possible at any location in the region.
The weather service offered these tips:
• Drink plenty of fluids.
• Stay in an air-conditioned room.
• Stay out of the sun.
• Check on relatives and neighbors.
• Young children and pets should never be left unattended in vehicles.
• Reduce time outside.
• Reschedule strenuous outside activities to early morning or evening.
• Know the signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke.
• Wear lightweight and loose fitting clothing when possible.
The heat was already ramping up, especially in the urban areas. The temperature Saturday at 8:30 a.m. was 84 degrees at Philadelphia International Airport, the weather service site in that city.
Meanwhile, at the same time at Reading Regional Airport, the weather service site in Berks, the temperature was 79.
At both airports, the dewpoints were in the upper 60s, not yet at oppressive levels. The high temperatures Friday were 99 and 96 degrees, respectively.
AccuWeather is expecting the high temperature Monday to be in the low 90s ahead of an approaching cool front. That front is likely to kick off widespread thunderstorms.
AccuWeather is warning that the storms could bring flash flooding and damaging winds.
It’s been 10 years since the mercury last reached 100 degrees at Reading Regional.
The summers of 2010, 2011 and 2012 were scorchers with conditions similar to July 2020 and this month. A total of eight 100-degree days were recorded over those three years.
An eight-day heat wave would not be close to a record. Such heat waves are not unusual historically.
The record heat wave for Berks is 13 days and that has occurred twice: June 25 through July 7 in 1901, and Aug. 24 through Sept. 5 in 1953.
The 1901 heat wave included two days of 100 or higher and the 1953 heat wave had three days of 100 or higher.
The latter was remarkable for its lateness in the season.
The Aug. 31, 1953, Reading Eagle front page featured a photo of a dried up Furnace Creek bed in western Berks. The headline included “Record drought dries up streams.”
The front page also went on to describe the heat and drought as blanketing the U.S.
This month’s average temperature has climbed to 78.8 degrees at Reading Regional, which would be good enough to get on the list of 10 warmest if it finishes that high.
Judging by the forecast it’s likely to end higher than 78.8.
Current 10 hottest full Julys in Berks:
• 1955: 81.5°
• 2011: 80.4°
• 2020: 80.3°
• 2012: 79.5°
• 1949: 79.2°
• 1952 and 1999: 79.0°
• 1966: 78.9°
• 1901 and 2010: 78.8°
If this month ends up on that list, it will be the fifth time since 2010 that a July has ended up being among the 10 hottest. The record period is 124 years.
Source: Berkshire mont