PARKERSBURG - As temperatures reach into the 90s this week, people are finding different ways to cool off.
The temperature topped out at 92 degrees Monday after reaching a high of 91 on Sunday, said Ken Batty, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Charleston.
''We are expecting it to stay in the 90s (today), Wednesday and Thursday,'' he said. ''It will be three more days before the pattern breaks as more moisture accumulates in the air and we have a possibility of showers by the weekend.''
Photo by Jolene Craig
Jordan Newbanks, 6, of Belpre jumps out of the water in the Williamstown Healthy Lifestyle Swimming Pool Monday evening. About 350 people used the community pool as a way to cool off in the 90-degree temperatures.
So far this year, Monday was the fourth day to reach into the 90s.
''In 2009, getting into the 90s was a rarity,'' Batty said. ''(The Parkersburg area) only got into the 90s six times last year.
''We have already had four days and it is expected to be in the 90s over the next three days.''
A heat wave is defined as three consecutive days of temperatures in the 90s, Batty said.
The last time the area saw regular temperatures in the 90s was in 2007 when 34 days that year saw temperatures greater than 90, he said. Those number decreased in 2008 and 2009, but are now making a comeback.
''This is a reverse trend,'' he said.
The highest temperature for 2008 and 2009 was 92. It reached 97 in 2007.
The high today is expected to reach 95, the high Wednesday is expected to reach 97 and the high Thursday is expected to reach 99.
''This is the hottest we have seen it in the last few years,'' Batty said.
The temperature is expected to drop back down to 92 on Friday and 87 by Saturday.
Attendance has been up at area pools.
The pool at Southwood Park saw more people Sunday and Monday because of the heat, said assistant manager Whitney Cumberledge.
''The water slide has been busy,'' she said. ''We have had a constant flow of people.''
They continually had more room for people in the pool and have been encouraging people to visit, she said.
The swimming pool in Williamstown has been averaging 350 people daily.
The number of heat exhaustion cases has increased at Camden-Clark Memorial Hospital.
''Most of the cases we are seeing involve dehydration,'' Camden-Clark Marketing Director Greg Smith said. ''People have not been keeping themselves hydrated.''
People need to shade themselves, have frequent drinks and put off strenuous activities until the morning or evening when it is cooler, he said.
St. Joseph's Hospital has not seen an increase in heat-related cases lately, but is reminding people to take precautions in dealing with the heat, Vice President Jill Parsons said.
Warning signs can include chest pains from overexertion.
Medical officials at both hospitals said people need to drink a lot of fluids to stay hydrated and replace their electrolytes, and pace themselves if they are going to be outside.
If people start to feel lightheaded or dizzy, they need to take a break immediately and try to get somewhere where they can gradually cool down, officials at St. Joseph's said.
People need to avoid sugary sodas when they are working outside because it can make them sluggish, officials said, adding water hydrates the body quicker.
People should use sunscreen with a high SPF, wear a wide brim hat and take short, frequent breaks.
If someone continually feels nauseous or is not feeling any better after resting, he or she needs to seek immediate medical help, officials said.
Staff Writer Jolen Craig contributed to this story.