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Harford heats up at end of May

It's been feeling like summer in Harford County for the past few days, with sunny weather and hot temperatures making themselves felt around the region.

Wednesday, Thursday and Friday reached highs around the 90-degree mark.

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Saturday is expected to be about the same, with a high of 88, according to the National Weather Service, but Harford residents will likely not feel relief until the new week begins.

That is when thunderstorms, that ripped through the greater Oklahoma City area again Friday afternoon and evening, are expected around the region, cooling off the Baltimore area as well as much of the East Coast. Forecasters were predicting Friday night that the storms were expected in the region Sunday night into Monday.

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Although several other jurisdictions, such as Carroll County, opened cooling centers earlier this week, Harford does not do so until the heat index reaches higher temperatures.

"Generally we don't start doing that until we get into the triple digits, so we're not there yet," county spokesman Ben Lloyd, a spokesman for the Harford County government, said Friday.

He noted that just because a cooling center is not formally open does not mean people can not avail themselves of facilities such as libraries or senior centers.

As the summer moves in, "we start talking about triple digits," when those centers might officially stay open.

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The county also has not gotten word of any heat-related incidents, Lloyd said.

Highs throughout the rest of the week should be in the mid-seventies.

The county's health department warned Thursday about heat-related illnesses, especially for those who spend long amounts of time outside or those who live alone in hot residences without air conditioning.

"Individuals at special risk should stay indoors on particularly hot and humid days, especially when there is an air pollution alert in effect," the health department suggested. "People without fans or air conditioners should go to places such as shopping malls, movie theaters, libraries or cooling centers."

For more information, go to "Precautions Against Heat Illness" at http://www.harfordcountyhealth.com/?p=9095

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