PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The heat and humidity started creeping up over the weekend, and now it is starting to feel like a sauna. Pittsburgh hit 90 degrees on Monday.

A ridge of high pressure has set up across the area. That is what is responsible for our sunshine. The high pressure is also cycling in the heat and humidity. As more moisture moves in, the greater our chances for showers and thunderstorms will become.

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(Photo: KDKA Weather)

To be a child on a hot summer day is joyful, but as a parent, there is a lot to watch out for.

“Limit the running around to some extent, kids are going to run around and do their thing. Make sure there is a shady area where they can take a break from the sun,” said Dr. Chad Nesbit with Allegheny Health Network.

Dr. Nesbit runs the emergency department at Allegheny General Hospital. When temperatures climb to near 90, he said people struggle to cool down and the body just can’t keep up. There is an increased potential for heat-related illnesses.

KDKA checked with several hospitals, with none reporting anything significant in terms of emergency room visits due to the heat.

“It’s much like a fever. Your temperature starts to increase more, which puts stress on the body. You get enough stress, and your cardiovascular system is impacted and then your brain,” Nesbit said.

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These are all signs of heat exhaustion, which if not treated, could lead to a heat stroke. Nesbit told KDKA the most at-risk are young children, the elderly and people who work in the elements.

Firefighters fall right into that at-risk category.

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“In the summer, we take a beating and it’s because of the protective clothing,” said Pittsburgh Assistant Fire Chief Brian Kokkila.

Imagine layer after layer of heavy turnout gear. Plus the hat, tools and air pack. Kokkila told KDKA the sweat starts pouring before you even go towards a burning building. So how do they manage?

“We are really cycling them out to get their rest period. We are opening them up to get them cooled off and really, it’s a quick assessment of their vitals,” Kokkila said.

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Add in a lot of hydration and misting fans, and Pittsburgh Fire is protecting its firefighters while protecting you.

“We absolutely still show up, it’s our job, we just have to take some extra care,” Kokkila said.

A cold front is expected to bring cooler temperatures by the weekend, but before that, we’ll see rain and thunderstorm activity become more widespread mid-week. Leading up to that, we will see some pop-up thunderstorms develop. Most of these will happen during the heat of the day.

(Photo: KDKA Weather)

The humidity in the air is also available for storms to work with. This abundance of moisture means that we could see some storms producing heavy rain, especially Wednesday and Thursday. A couple of storms may even produce damaging winds.

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