Pennsylvania weather in July typically goes like this: it’s the peak of summer, temperatures are warm, and a few bouts of heavy rain rustle at our windows.
We had that. But let’s face it, July 2020’s weather will be remembered for ferocious heat.
As a result, it should come as little surprise that 2020 saw the hottest July on record in southcentral Pennsylvania, including York County, according to the National Weather Service.
More: Pennsylvania sees hotter-than-normal year so far
That’s out of the over 132 years of record keeping since 1888, according to meteorologist John Banghoff.
During the record-setting month, even the overnight lows didn’t offer much relief. Sweltering temperatures reached near record levels back-to-back with highs of 96 on the hottest days of the month on July 19 and 20. In fact, the month saw 18 days where temperatures topped 90 degrees in York County.
But it’s possible — and very likely — that most people felt like it is even hotter than the near-triple digit temperature. The heat index, which takes into account temperature and humidity, reached 106.
According to the National Weather Service, it can feel up to 15 degrees warmer in direct sunlight.
The temperature did however drop to 81 degrees on the coolest day of the month. That temperature is more consistent with the average temperature for the region in July, which fall around the mid 80s.
August should offer some relief, however. The rain storms this week will offer some much-needed cooler weather after a month of heat and humidity.
A reprieve from the warm weather should come Monday as a colder front moves in and pushes out the hot and humid air mass that has lingered over the area.
“It’s not uncommon to get hot and humid air masses during the summertime,” Banghoff said. “It’s also not uncommon over the summertime to have stagnant weather patterns. What makes it unique is how large the area affected is.”
Nearly two-thirds of the United States is experiencing humid and warmer-than-typical weather.
This month, experts warned residents to stay safe and take extra precautions, as record-breaking temperatures and dryness are expected for the upcoming days.
“Heat like this can be dangerous and deadly,” Banghoff said.
Extreme heat causes most weather-related deaths, outnumbering hurricanes, tornadoes and flooding. The NWS urges people to stay inside during the warmest portions of the afternoon, avoid strenuous activity, drink extra water, wear light, loose-fitting clothing and check in on neighbors who may be elderly, have children or have limited access to air-conditioning.