There was something about hearing that the overnight temperature never went below 80 that made you think it really was going to be one of those days.
A day where you walk to your car and sweat. You sit in your car with the air conditioning running, still sweating. You stand still outside doing nothing but sweating. Still… life goes on.
A half dozen people were out jogging at Glasgow Park, despite the heat. Construction still went on as a work crew continued to lay out plans for a new skate park; the same at the University of Delaware. Construction projects have a timetable, and with temperatures flirting with 90 degrees by 10am, there was still a need to steam roll over new blacktop.
A lone sprinkler was making sure the practice field at the Carpenter Center was ready when the Blue Hens begin their practice sessions next month in preparation for the new season.
Meanwhile, over in North Wilmington, the heat didn’t stop people from exercising or working outdoors. Kids had the right idea though, hitting the pool at Silverside Swim Club and Lane Swim Club or taking a break with cold drinks and some refreshing watermelon.
There is a simple meteorological explanation for this weather and there is also evidence that this is also our fate. David R. Legates, Associate State Climatologist and Professor at the University of Delaware says our dewpoints are pushing 80 degrees. That kind of high humidity is usually found in the Gulf coastal states. “The calm winds have led to increased ground-level ozone production and increased particulates, which degrade air quality,” he adds.
But there is something else at play here. “This seems to always happen during Fair Week. I grew up in Harrington and worked at the State Fair every summer. The last full week in July was always the hottest,” Legates said.
The Delaware State Fair started Thursday and the fair’s Marketing Coordinator Hallie Moor is encouraging fairgoers to drink plenty of water and to duck into air conditioned buildings when you can.
“People are allowed to bring their own water, their own drinks to the grounds to make sure they stay hydrated. We just ask that no one brings glass bottles and of course no alcoholic beverages,” said Moor.
No worries though, Moor says the fair has a first-aid station set up and emergency personnel on the grounds, just in case.
The scorching temperatures are proving to be a bit too hot for horses though. Delaware Park decided, Friday, to cancel the live racing program Saturday, July 23rd, due to the extreme temps posing a health risk to the horses and racegoers.
DelDOT is going to be on alert all weekend for the buckling of roads. For a second day in a row, crews were called to work on a problem. Thursday it was along Route 13 in Smyrna. The right northbound lane was closed for eight hours to fix the problem.
Two of Delaware’s utilities put out their own heat advisories. The Delaware Electric Cooperative put out “beat the heat” peak alert. They asked members to cut back on electricity usage Friday afternoon.
Delmarva Electric put out a list of energy saving tips:
* Set air-conditioning thermostats at 78 degrees and use an electric fan, which doesn’t require as much energy, and the air will seem cooler without sacrificing comfort. * Keep window shades, blinds, or drapes closed to block the sunlight during the hottest part of the day and retain cooler air inside your home or business. * Limit the use of electrically heated water and turn off non-essential appliances and as many lights as possible. * Limit opening refrigerator or freezer doors. * Postpone using high-energy appliances like electric stoves, washing machines, dishwashers and dryers until the evening.