Heat wave lingers

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(Host) Around the state, near record temperatures were recorded Wednesday as the heat wave continued. As VPR’s Steve Zind reports, it’s not often we see such a long string of 90-degree plus days in Vermont.

(Weather report) “It was 92 at St. Johnsbury. It was sunny with a temperature of 93 at Rutland, 90 at Montpelier .”

(Zind) In almost 120 years of record keeping, Burlington had seen only 26 times before this summer when the temperature exceeded ninety degrees for a four-day stretch. Bob Schiesser is a meteorologist with the National Weather Service:

(Schiesser) “It is a fairly rare event. And it’s happened two more times this year, so a total of 28 times in Burlington that we’ve had heat waves of four days or more. An official heat wave, by the way, is three or more consecutive days with highs of 90 or higher and before this season, we’ve had 62 such occurrences.”

(Zind) One place to escape the heat is in the water. North Beach in Burlington is the largest beach on Lake Champlain. Charlie Hoag is the supervisor at North Beach.

(Hoag) “Today was a fairly busy weekday. On a busy weekday, we can get upwards of about a 1,000 people on the beach. On a busy weekend like we had past Sunday, I’d say it was one of the busiest days we had all season, we probably had 4,000-5,000 people down here at the beach.”

(Zind) The heat wave has led to record demand for electricity as people try to stay cool. It’s also resulted in a smog advisory in southern Vermont due to high levels of ozone in the atmosphere.

For Vermont Public Radio, I’m Steve Zind.

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