Wednesday July 18, 2012

The ice cream began to drip as soon as it emerged from the soft-serve machine, but Jackie Garzone and her 1-year-old daughter, Jozie, were quick to sip it up.

To keep the oppressive heat at bay on Tuesday, the 22-year-old grabbed the sprinkle-topped dishes from King Kone in Pittsfield before heading for a dip in the family pool.

"We will get home and get in it," Garzone said, catching vanilla ice cream as it dribbled over the rim. "It's hot."

Kids squealed around swimming pools and lakes, umbrellas opened against the sun, and many felt the lassitude of a day too hot to do much of anything.

While the Berkshires were exempt from a heat advisory that covered most of Southern New England, the county still notched high temperatures in the lower 90s.

A woman jumps into Pontoosuc Lake in Pittsfield on Tuesday to escape the 90-plus degree heat.
A woman jumps into Pontoosuc Lake in Pittsfield on Tuesday to escape the 90-plus degree heat. (Caroline Bonnivier Snyder / Berkshire Eagle Staff)

In Pittsfield, the temperature topped out at 91 degrees, two degrees shy of the record for this date of 93 degrees that was set in 1927, according to the National Weather Service.

In Williamstown, officials opened up cooling centers at the town municipal building and library, while YMCA Camp Sumner in Pittsfield extended its pool hours to keep campers cool.

"Once they're in the pool, everything's fine," said camp counselor Jordan Wood, 18, who presided over the cadre of energetic kids at the Berkshire Community College swimming pool.

"The water is nice because it's really freezing," said 9-year-old camper Marlon Binns. "Everybody jumps and cannonballs."

Higher terrain protected the county from some of the sizzling heat indices in the nearby cities of Northampton, Springfield and Hartford, Conn., according to National Weather Service meteorologist Steve DiRienzo.

"It's a hot summer day, but it's not excessive," he said.

Tuesday will likely be the hottest day of the week, DiRienzo said. Showers and thunderstorms are possible today as a cold front drops into the region, bringing some much-needed rain.

To reach Amanda Korman:
akorman@berkshireeagle.com
(413) 496-6243
On Twitter: @mandface



Heat busters

Eight- to 11-year-old campers at the YMCA's Camp Sumner had these recommendations for staying cool:

  • Go on a waterslide
  • Spray your face with water
  • Take a cold shower
  • Play ‘Drip Drip Drop' ('Duck Duck Goose,' with water)
  • Play with your friends using water balloons filled with really, really cold water