Dip in temperatures a relief for people, pets

It’s supposed to be sizzling outside, but nature’s brand of air conditioning is headed Lycoming County and the region’s way.

Instead of the mercury soaring into the 90s, as it normally does this time of year, the next seven days are forecast to be unseasonably cool for the city and region, said Bill Gartner, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in State College.

“Most people will find it to be a nice break,” he said.

Animals and pet owners will get a break, too.

The more comfortable temperatures heading this way is an opportunity to get pets outside, especially dogs to exercise and frolic in the grass or on a walk around the block, Woltz said. However, whenever it is spring or summer, it is better to keep the dogs and cats home when driving. Thunderstorms not only spook animals, such as dogs, but lightning can be dangerous, particularly when outside or near a tree.

Two dogs trapped in unattended vehicles were rescued and their owners cited in some of the warmest days of the year, said Larry Woltz, chief humane society officer at the Lycoming County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, 2805 Reach Road.

One dog was trapped in unattended vehicle parked outside a healthcare facility in the city and another was stuck inside a hot car parked outside a store in Montoursville, Woltz said.

One dog almost did not survive, he said.

The agency may be contacted at 570-322-4646 during 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday and Saturday. If nobody is available, Woltz urges those seeing animal abuse to contact the local police department.

“Police will respond and take appropriate action,” Woltz said. Dogs will die within a matter of minutes in a car, even when the windows are cracked open, he said.

A few pop up thunderstorms are possible Saturday, Sunday and Monday afternoons, but it will be relatively comfortable for this time of year, Gartner said.

By Tuesday, the region should see a high temperature of 75 degrees, 8 degrees below normal,” Gartner said.

In addition to the coolness, it will be dry over the weekend and for the start of the work week, he said.

Less humidity and heat is easier on the energy bills, too.

In most cases, once the air sweeps in fans, and air conditions can be turned down or off, depending on one’s comfort level.

“It is also more pleasant conditions for those working outside and hobbyists, such as those hitting the streams in kayaks or digging the dirt in gardens.

Toward the end of the week, as Aug. 1 nears, temperatures will begin to creep up, Gartner said.

While the forecast did not indicate any immediate heat wave, Gartner predicted in 10 days “it will feel different.”

This month has been relatively normal in terms of rainfall. So far, the city recorded 3.24 inches for the month.

Rainfall amounts are right on target as well. “We’re right near normal, which is 3.16 inches,” he said. For the year, the city saw 21.45 inches of rain, which is 0.54 inches below normal.

The immediate forecast:

Today should be sunny, with a high near 77. Winds will be light, 3 to 7 mph, and from the west. Tonight, is should be mostly clear, with a low of 57.

Saturday brings a high near 79 and a chance of showers and thunderstorms. Chance of rain, however, is 30 percent. Saturday night indicates another chance for rain and thunderstorms and a low of 64.

Sunday appears to be a repeat of Saturday, with a high near 79 and more likely chance of showers and thunderstorms in the afternoon hours. Chance of precipitation is 60 percent. The low Sunday should be 62, with a 40-percent chance of rain.

The start of the work week should be partly sunny, with a high near 76. Monday night should remain about 60 degrees, but could go lower into the 50s.