hot humid

As another scorching heat wave grips the region, scattered strong storms bring the threat of downpours and damaging winds later on Wednesday.

A First Alert for the oppressive heat and strong storms lasts through Wednesday at 11 p.m. for the entire region. The humidity is making the already high temperatures feel even more oppressive. 

Wednesday is expected to be more humid, hotter and stormier than Tuesday.

The muggy meter through Thursday remains at an oppressive level, which could fuel storms, First Alert Weather meteorologist Bill Henley said. 

The humidity on Wednesday builds as the high pushes into the 90s, giving fuel to strong storms for the late afternoon and evening.

The storms on Wednesday are expected to be worse than the pop-up showers and storms on Monday and Tuesday.

The hottest time of the day will be from around 10 a.m. to 3 to 4 p.m., First Alert Weather meteorologist Steve Sosna said. Due to the urban heat island effect, in which buildings and concrete retain heat, some of the most oppressive conditions will be felt in urban areas. "It will probably be a good five to seven degrees warmer in the urban areas, especially at night," Sosna said.

The heat will pose a threat to everyone, so people should remember to stay hydrated (drinking mostly water and keeping alcohol to a minimum), avoid prolonged periods of direct sun exposure and reapply sunscreen every few hours. 

Keeping your body cool will be key. You can take a cool shower or find a pool. If you don't have air conditioning, you can look for a place like a shopping center, library or movie theater that does. People should also leave windows at least slightly cracked to allow air to recirculate inside their homes, Sosna said. 

"It's important to give your body a break because the heat adds extra stress because your body is working harder to cool itself off," Sosna said.

Extra precautions should be taken for young children, the elderly and pets.

The latest heat wave is the fifth of the season and is being caused by heat from the southern part of the U.S. moving north, Sosna said. In Philadelphia, the highest temperature resulting from the heat waves has been 98 degrees, while the highest feels-like temperature has been 110 degrees.

More storms are in the forecast on Thursday as a cold front finally moves through. Once the heat breaks after Thursday, more comfortable and mostly clear conditions are expected through the weekend with plenty of sunshine and highs around 80.

The conditions into next week are going to be fall-like, Henley said.