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July 26, 2023

Temperatures to hit upper 90s in Philly region on Thursday and Friday

Muggy conditions will make it feel even hotter and offer little relief at night. The National Weather Service has issued heat warnings

Weather Heat
Philly Heat Warnings Thom Carroll/For PhillyVoice

The National Weather Service has issued a heat advisory and excessive heat watch for the Philadelphia region on Thursday and Friday. The image above is a file photo.

UPDATE: Philadelphia officials have declared a heat health emergency for Thursday through Saturday in response to forecasted temperatures and high heat index. Residents who need to escape the heat can contact the city's Heatline at (215) 765-9040 or visit these cooling centers

If high temperatures persist, the city may extend the heat health emergency through the rest of the weekend. 

People in the Philadelphia region may want to prioritize air-conditioned, indoor activities as scorching temperatures sweep across the Delaware Valley over the next several days. 

Hot, humid weather is forecasted beginning Wednesday, with temperatures expected to reach the high 90s by the end of the week. The National Weather Service has issued a heat advisory for Southeastern Pennsylvania and South Jersey from 11 a.m. Thursday through 6 a.m. Friday. An excessive heat watch then will be in effect until 10 p.m. Friday.  

The National Weather Service forecasts that the heat index will reach the low 100s on Thursday and Friday afternoon in much of the region. Muggy conditions at night will provide limited relief from the heat. Storms are possible on Thursday and Friday, with hot and humid conditions continuing into the weekend. 

Additionally, Pennsylvania and New Jersey have issued air quality alerts for Southeastern Pennsylvania and the three South Jersey counties closest to Philadelphia, respectively. Seniors, children and people with heart or lung disease are advised to limit strenuous activities and that amount of time they spend outdoors. The air quality alerts were triggered by high ozone levels, which are more common during the summer months.  

Here is the forecast for Philadelphia through the weekend, courtesy of the National Weather Service.

Wednesday: Sunny with a high near 91. Mostly clear with a low around 75 at night. 
Thursday: Mostly sunny and hot, with a high near 97. Heat index may be as high at 103. A chance of showers and  thunderstorms after 3 p.m., which may produce gusty winds. Partly cloudy with a low around 76 at night. Chance of showers and thunderstorms before 3 a.m. 
Friday: Mostly sunny and hot, with a high near 98. Partly cloudy with a low near 78 at night, with a slight chance of thunderstorms after 9 p.m. 
Saturday: Mostly sunny with a high near 95. A chance of showers and thunderstorms after 3 p.m. Mostly cloudy with a low near 70 at night, plus a chance for thunderstorms before 3 a.m. 
Sunday: Mostly sunny with a high near 83. Mostly clear, with a low near 84 at night. 

Watch for these heat-related health issues

It's important to be aware of the ailments that can arise in the heat. The simplest ways to prevent heat-related illnesses are to avoid outdoor activities, stay in air-conditioned spaces and drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. 

Heat cramps, the mildest of the heat-related illnesses, are painful muscle cramps and spasms that can occur during or after sweating and exercising in high heat. People who are suffering from heat cramps should stop exercising, move to a cool place, remove excess clothing and hydrate. 

Heat exhaustion, the body's response to excessive loss of water and salt, is more likely to impact older adults, people with high blood pressure or those working in hot environments. Symptoms include cool or clammy skin, weak pulse, nausea, dizziness, headaches and fainting. Those experiencing heat exhaustion should be moved to a cool place, sip water and seek immediate medical attention for vomiting or worsening symptoms. 

Heat stroke, which occurs when the body can no longer control its temperature, is the most severe heat-related illness. Symptoms include a body temperature about 103 degrees, a fast pulse, headache, nausea, confusion, loss of consciousness and hot, red, dry or damp skin. People are advised to call 911 if they believe someone is having a heat stroke. 

Here are some free ways to beat the heat in Philadelphia, including information on spraygrounds and swimming pools.

"We ask all Pennsylvanians to be a good neighbor and check on people who may have limited mobility or may not have a way to escape the heat," said Dr. Debra Bogen, acting health secretary. "Remember to wear appropriate clothing, stay hydrated, exercise safely, and look out for children, older adults and pets."