Cool Fountain

Adeline Cotchen, 2, of Johnstown ( bottom left) covers herself from the cool water of the Pasquerilla Fountain in Johnstown Central Park on Friday, July 19, 2019.

A sweltering weekend heat wave shifted south Sunday evening – and will be long gone by the time area residents head to work Monday morning.

And the chill-down that will follow will likely run through the week, a National Weather Service forecaster said.

After Monday storms bring a heavy dose of rain to the region, temperatures likely won’t reach the mid-80s all week, often  lingering in the upper 70s, meteorologist Michael Colbert said.

“It’s actually going to be a few degrees colder than normal for summer,” he said, noting that lows could drop to the upper 50s overnight. “But the good news is that it looks like, after Monday, it should be dry.”

The National Weather Service is predicting as much as three-quarters of an inch of rain could fall in the area Monday, and even more farther east.

Flash flood watches are already being issued in parts of central Pennsylvania, but Cambria and Somerset counties are expected to see lesser amounts and weren’t on the watch list Sunday evening.

Heat wave toll

Much of the nation spent the weekend under the far-reaching heat wave that was blamed for claiming at least six lives as of early Sunday.

No fatalities were reported in the Johnstown region, according to Cambria County Coroner Jeff Lees.

Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center officials said the emergency department handled approximately 25 heat-related cases since Friday, but of that total, only one might have risen to the level of heat stroke.

In most cases, people were suffering from various degrees of heat exhaustion, experiencing nausea, vomiting, dehydration and other complications due to the excessive humidity and 90-degree heat, Dr. Alex Pozun said.

Patients were given ice packs and cool clothing – and in many cases, IV fluids – to lower their body temperatures, Pozun said.

In several cases, people came into the emergency room expressing concerns about their health while unaware that heat was to blame.

“It’s not uncommon to have a number of heat-exhaustion cases during this time of the year, but usually it’s athletes – people outside exerting themselves and they end up under-hydrated,” Pozun said.

Throughout this weekend, though, it was adults of every age – a number of them in their retirement years, he said.

David Hurst is a reporter for The Tribune-Democrat. He can be reached at (814) 532-5053. Follow him on Twitter @TDDavidHurst and Instagram @TDDavidHurst.