As Democratic Convention Nears, Excessive Heat Settles In

Work continues inside the convention hall before the Democratic National Convention, Saturday, July 23, 2016, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Work continues inside the convention hall before the Democratic National Convention, July 23, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

(AP) — As thousands of delegates arrive in Philadelphia for the Democratic National Convention, it’s not just politics they have to contend with — it’s also the hot and sticky weather.

The heat wave that descended on the city is expected to show no mercy on Sunday with temperatures around 96 degrees. It could peak on Monday, the convention’s first day, with temperatures possibly hitting 100 degrees, said Mitchell Gaines, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Mount Holly, New Jersey.

Many parts of the United States are experiencing higher than normal temperatures — like most of the Midwest — but the Philadelphia area is slated to be the hardest hit in the Northeast. Other parts of the region, including New York City, are in heat advisories. And the higher temperatures have brought powerful thunderstorms to some New England states, rain knocking out power to tens of thousands of residents.

In Arizona, where temperatures hit 112 on Friday, a 12-year-old boy died after becoming ill after a hike.

Along with the considerable amount of humidity, the heat index in the Philadelphia area could be pushed as high as 108 on Monday, Gaines said. Highs in the mid- to upper-90s are expected each day through Wednesday.

“The multiple days of excessive heat will greatly affect those who are attending outdoor activities, especially events with large groups of people that are gathering in the direct sun,” the weather service said. Officials warned that in urbanized areas such as Center City Philadelphia, even nighttime temperatures may not drop below 80, especially Monday night. There also is the possibility of thunderstorms, such as the brief one which lashed Philadelphia during the late afternoon and evening on Saturday.

To protect thousands of demonstrators expected during the July 25 to July 28 DNC, Philadelphia officials said two medic tents and two “misting” tents would be set up and water would be distributed. Medics also would be assigned to take part in marches.

Meanwhile, in New York, officials are advising people to hydrate and avoid daytime exercise amid a summer heatwave.

The National Weather Service says temperatures reached 94 degrees Friday in Central Park. But adding humidity makes it feel much warmer. The heat index at LaGuardia International Airport reached 102 degrees.

Forecasters say temperatures will again reach into the low 90s on Sunday but the humidity will be lower.