Heat wave starts Friday

  • National Weather Service, Boston/Norton office National Weather Service, Boston/Norton office

  • National Weather Service, Boston/Norton office National Weather Service, Boston/Norton office

  • National Weather Service, Boston/Norton office National Weather Service, Boston/Norton office

Staff Writer
Published: 7/17/2019 1:28:36 PM

NORTHAMPTON — A heat wave is expected to hit western Massachusetts starting Friday and continuing through the weekend. Temperatures are predicted to hit a high of 97 degrees Saturday, but it will likely feel hotter.

The National Weather Service released a map of weekend heat indexes — measurements that combine temperature and relative humidity to estimate how hot it feels outside — for locations around the state. Peak heat in Amherst and Greenfield, the weather service predicts, will feel like 106 degrees on Saturday, while Springfield will feel like 107 degrees.

“Cutting your lawn Saturday afternoon might not be a good idea,” said Bill Simpson, a spokesman for the National Weather Service’s Boston/Norton office.

“Hot. Sultry. Oppressive. Be prepared,” the weather service tweeted of the weekend heat.

The weather service recommends that any outdoor activity be done in the morning Saturday to avoid the midday heat.

With high humidity, sweat is less effective in cooling the body down, Simpson said. “It doesn’t work at all. You can get in trouble in a very short period of time,” he said.

Friday and Sunday will also be hot, with the heat index predicted to reach the high 90s.

Simpson said three days with temperatures topping 90 degrees is considered a heat wave, so this weekend qualifies as one. The weather service has not issued a formal heat advisory, but Simpson said it “more than likely” will.

So far, one town is opening up cooling centers. The South Hadley Council on Aging is open weekdays, and the South Hadley Public Library is open weekdays and Saturdays.

Greta Jochem can be reached at gjochem@gazettenet.com.




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