ALPENA - Wednesday was the third day in a row of temperatures at or near 90 degrees, and people in Alpena had their own ways of embracing or beating the heat.
Temperatures reached 96 degrees shortly before 5 p.m. Wednesday, according to the National Weather Service website. That's just one degree shy of the daily record, set in 2011, NWS Meteorologist Tim Locker said. At the Alpena County Regional Airport, temperatures hit 94 degrees on Tuesday and 89 on Monday. Temperatures or heat indexes were high enough to warrant a heat advisory Tuesday, which will expire at 12 a.m. Friday.
With little cloud cover all three days and considerable humidity Monday and Tuesday, working outside was a challenge. Thunder Bay Arts Council board members Clint Kendziorski and Karen McConnell took a break from marking vendor spots for Art on the Bay, an arts and crafts fair in Bay View Park on Saturday. Both said they were drinking lots of fluids and working to get the park ready in time.
"I'm just keeping going," he said. "I don't have time to stop and worry about it, I've got to get ready for Art on the Bay. It's Saturday, and we've got to be ready, heat or no heat."
McConnell said she was trying to stay in the shade, provided by numerous trees in the park.
"That, and just waiting for that wonderful breeze," she said as the wind picked up, providing a brief respite from the sauna-like conditions.
At Thomson Park, a dozen or so swimmers were cooling off in Thunder Bay, while a few sat in the shade. Others caught some rays on the sand, including Sara Hoeft. She was there with her kids on Wednesday, and said she normally tries to stay inside when it's hot outside. Her house is full of fans to keep the air moving.
"I took the kids out today. We went to the store and it had A/C," she said. "I didn't even want to get back in the car."
Hoeft and family hit the beach Tuesday as well, and she alternated stretches of sunbathing with dips in the bay from noon until 7 p.m., she said.
Earlier, Tanya Flanner and Julie DePrekel chatted over iced drinks in a downtown coffee shop. Flanner said she was loving the heat, as the rest of the summer had been relatively cool.
"I think it's the only week we're going to have," she said, adding it was her first day off from work to enjoy it.
DePrekel said she likes to go fishing when it's hot outside, adding she caught several bass out of Long Lake on Tuesday.
Flanner worked out at the gym that day, since it was too hot to exercise outdoors, she said. Both she and DePrekel had switched to iced coffee instead of hot coffee as a result of the heat.
For those who aren't loving the heat, relief is on the way. High temperatures will dip to the 70s Saturday and Sunday, with no rain in the weekend forecast, Locker said.