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A heat wave is about to hit Centre County. Here's what you need to know

A "significant" break in the heat is slated to sweep in Friday and Saturday, according to AccuWeather.
A "significant" break in the heat is slated to sweep in Friday and Saturday, according to AccuWeather. Screenshot provided

As a dangerous heat wave makes its way across the country, Centre County can expect to feel the full effects Sunday and Monday.

With heat index values expected to get near 100 degrees, the National Weather Service in State College has issued a heat advisory from 8 a.m. Sunday to 8 p.m. Monday for the southeastern half of the county.

As of 1:45 p.m. Saturday, the NWS's latest figures projected highs of 93 degrees for the next two days in the State College area, with heat index figures of 97.

What makes the coming heat wave more dangerous, according to NWS meteorologist Michael Colbert, is the humidity it's bringing along with it, making it feel even hotter.

"It feels hotter for us in the humid weather because it takes longer for water to evaporate," Colbert said. "So if you have any sweat on you or anything like that, it takes longer to evaporate, and evaporation is a cooling process. So if it's taking longer to evaporate, then it's cooling you more slowly, and therefore it feels hotter."

AccuWeather is predicting it'll feel even hotter, with highs of 95 degrees on Sunday and a heat index of 101. The record for July 1, according to AccuWeather, is 97 degrees.

The incoming heat, Colbert said, is the result of a "very large area of high pressure" that's hanging over the East Coast.

"That high pressure is steering up plenty of hot, humid air from the southwest, from the Gulf of Mexico and that area, and punching it eastward and northward," he said.

Even after the heat advisory is over Monday evening, people shouldn't expect too much relief.

"There will maybe be just a little bit of relief on Tuesday, but temperatures will still be pretty warm, with temperatures high in the upper 80s, so not much of a relief," Colbert said. "Maybe by Friday we'll have a better chance. There might be some rain Friday as a cold front comes through. But even then, after that, it doesn't look like it's going to cool off too much."

The NWS and AccuWeather project highs in the lower 90s and upper 80s for the rest of the week, and highs in the 80s the following week.

"It's going to be a pretty prolonged period of hot weather, and that's something to really focus on as far as impacts go," Colbert said. "Whenever you have a long-duration heat wave, the impacts kind of accumulate each day, and it really takes a toll on people's health."

To stay safe during the heat wave, the NWS encourages people to limit or reschedule strenuous outdoor activities, find shade, stay hydrated, drink plenty of fluids, wear light clothing, limit alcohol and sugary drinks, check on the elderly and never leave children or animals in a hot car.

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