CECIL COUNTY — A stretch of hot days is considered a heat wave when a temperature of 90 degrees or higher is recorded on at least three consecutive days.

Based on that loose definition, Cecil County has been swamped in a heat wave since Saturday, when a high of 94 degrees was logged, followed by a reading of 92 on Sunday, 95 on Monday and 94 on Tuesday, according to Alex Staarmann, a National Weather Service meteorologist assigned to the agency’s Mt. Holly, N.J. station.

And there is no end in sight until Friday, when a cold front is expected to usher milder temperatures (relatively speaking) into the region, Staarman told the Cecil Whig, noting that the forecasted high temp for that day is 88 degrees.

A heat wave occurs when a ridge or loft of high pressure hangs over a region and winds typically blow in from the south of west, adding even more warmth to the looming weather system in that geographic area.

Perryville resident Katherine Eastridge and her friend, Kourtney McKew, of Abingdon, don’t really know all of the meteorological conditions that come into play to create a heat wave. And why should they? You don’t have to be a scientist to know when it’s blistering hot outside.

But they know what to do for cool comfort in the midst of a heat wave.

“I live in the water,” McKew said Tuesday afternoon, while floating inside a bright green inner tube in the Northeast River in Charlestown. “The heat has been unbearable the last few days, but not when you’re in the water. We’re staying out by the water everyday.”

Lounging atop a nearby yellow raft, Eastridge chimed in, “I don’t mind sweating, as long as I’m near water and I can jump in to cool off.”

Splashing and relaxing in that river on Tuesday, Eastridge and McKew were part of a large group of people who had been flocking to pools, swimming holes, creeks and other waterways throughout Cecil County since the weekend.

Most residents, undoubtedly, have opted to stay inside their air-conditioned homes, perhaps venturing out into the hot, muggy air long enough to visit an ice cream shop or similar place to enjoy a cool, sweet treat.

The high temperatures for Wednesday and Thursday are expected to be 93 and 90 respectively, before the heat wave breaks on Friday with the mercury reaching only 88 degrees.

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