This week is set to be a scorcher
SHAMOKIN - It's time to stock up on Popsicles and head out to the pool: this week's supposed to be a scorcher.
David Martin, forecaster at the National Weather Service office in State College predicts temperatures will top the 90s on Tuesday and Wednesday.
On Thursday, cool relief will arrive when a low pressure system moves off the southeast coast, taking temperatures back down to the upper 70s.
Temperatures in the 90s is not unusual for typical July weather in the region, but this summer the mercury has rarely reached so high.
Martin said this summer's warm, rather than hot, weather is a result of evening thunderstorms.
The moisture that has been on the ground, Martin said, has been absorbing energy that would otherwise become heat as it evaporates and turns into clouds. When the clouds turn into precipitation, the less humid air feels even cooler.
Martin said Julys in the past have been hotter because they were drier.
"When it's really dry and it's very dried out you can have more of a persistent heat wave because the energy isn't going to evaporate so much moisture," said Martin. "We're reasonably wet for mid-July."
Martin said that he couldn't be certain if the area's precipitation is higher than average this year because the National Weather Service doesn't track Shamokin's weather patterns and the precipitating systems that have moved through Pennsylvania this year have been spotty and uneven.
Williamsport is only one-tenth of an inch off of the normal, said Martin.
"That's pretty darn normal," he said.
In contrast, Harrisburg is about 5.5 inches above normal for July, and about 10 inches above normal for the year.
Martin said the moisture that has kept temperatures in check during the day has also contributed to warm nights.
He added that he can't predict if Tuesday and Wednesday will be the only hot days this summer in Shamokin.
"You can still get some hot weather here and cooler patterns," said Martin. "You just don't get the long stretches of 90 degree weather you've seen in the past."