People Scurry For Relief As Temperature Hits 90

Cliffy churns up the water as he digs in Lake Ontario for a rock to play with.
Cliffy churns up the water as he digs in Lake Ontario for a rock to play with.

OSWEGO, NY – The temperature flirted with the 90-degree plateau all day on Monday.

It finally settled at 90 degrees shortly after noon and stayed there for most of the day, according to Bill Gregway, local observer for the National Weather Service.

The 90, combined with the humidity, made it feel a lot worse than it was outside, Gregway said, adding it was no record.

“The record for July 5 is 97 in 1911. I don’t think we’ll hit the record for the next three days, either,” he said. “Monday’s 90 was the first time we’ve been that hot since Aug. 17 of last year.”

The record for July 6, 7 and 8 is 94 degrees each day.

Several people sought relief from Monday’s heat and humidity at the city’s swimming pool.

Many others flocked to the shores of Lake Ontario.

Kelly Fisher waited patiently on the shoreline as her six-year-old rescued canine, Cliffy, walked chest-deep in the lake playing one of his favorite games.

“He’s a digger,” she said. “He loves the water and he loves dig up rocks and bring them back to me.”

Cliffy reared back on his hind legs and dove into the water with his front paws, churning up a mini tidal wave. This time, however, the object of his attention was a bit too big to handle.

Mission accomplished – Cliffy heads back to shore after grabbing a rock out of the water to play with.
Mission accomplished – Cliffy heads back to shore after grabbing a rock out of the water to play with.

Undaunted, Cliffy pushed the rock around until he discovered one more manageable.

Picking it up out of the water, he shook him, spraying everyone within five feet of him, before bringing the bauble back to shore.

“I don’t have to worry about staying cool with Cliffy around,” Kelly joked. “He is always good for a shower every time we come to the lake.”

Forecasters say Monday could be the start of a heat wave.

Officially, a heat wave is at least three consecutive days of 90-degree or higher temperatures, Gregway said.

“It’s rather unusual to have four consecutive 90s in July, but not unheard of,” Gregway said.

He believes Tuesday will be as hot as Monday. The forecast is for mid-90s right through Thursday.

“We might have a heat wave here,” Gregway said. “I think it’s more likely in Syracuse than here.”

The Syracuse area will be hotter than Oswego County, Gregway said, because most of it is a “heat island.”

That means an area of a lot of tall buildings, concrete and blacktop, he explained.

That just draws the heat and makes things feel like a blast furnace,” he said. “Places like that generate a lot of heat. We have been lucky to have had a nice lake breeze keeping us ‘cooler,’ relatively speaking.”

The highest temperature on record for Oswego is 100 degrees on July 1, 1878, Gregway said.

“We still have a lot of record highs on the books from the 1800s,” Gregway said.

Back then the official thermometer was kept on a windowsill facing west. The weather service currently has requirements as to where weather recording instruments may be placed for the most accurate readings, he explained.

The top two record highs for the month of May are 94 degrees, set on May 30, 1879 and 93 degrees, set on May 31, 1875.

The top duo for June is 98 degrees, set on June 22, 1888 and 96 degrees, set on June 28, 1941 and tied on June 25, 1952 and June 21, 1953.  A record of 95 degrees was set on June 30, 1878.

Besides the record 100 degrees on the first, July has several other torrid records.

On July 17, 1876, it hit 98 degrees. It reached 97 degrees on July 5, 1911. On July 9, 1881, it peaked at 96 degrees, and that mark was tied on July 29, 1964.

The heat continued in August.

The top records for that month are 98 degrees, set on Aug. 22, 1883, and 97 degrees, set on Aug. 4, 1881 and Aug. 14, 2002. The other top records include 96 degrees, set on Aug. 11, 1944, and 95 degrees, set on Aug. 3, 1998 and another 95-degree reading on Aug. 13, 1947.

The records are still hot in September.

The top mark is 96 degrees, set on Sept. 4, 1953.

Other top records include 94 degrees, set on Sept. 16, 1939, and 93 degrees, set on Sept. 5, 1881, and tied on the very next day, as well as Sept. 13, 1931.