Heat Wave May Slacken Today; Thunderstorms to Herald Respite

The big, bad mass of hot and humid air that has been making life miserable for the past five days isn't long for this part of the world, if the Weather Bureau's predictions are correct. A cold front was heroically sweeping down from the Great Lakes last night, and by this afternoon it should establish itself firmly in the Cambridge area.

The hot air mass will put up a fight, of course, and it will take a little thunder and lighting to scare it away. But when the skies clear after the skirmish, the temperature should drop to the high 70's or low 80's, with the relative humidity a comfortable 30 or 40 per cent.

For a while, it was a question of which would get balmy first, the weather or the people. Yesterday was the 14th day of 90-degree heat this summer, one of the hottest in recent years.

Summer School students have borne up well under the heat and humidity. They have been uncomfortable and sticky, but basically healthy. Dr. Sholem Postel, assistant director of the University Health Services, reported yesterday that no one had turned up sick due to the weather alone.

Lamont Library, which features air conditioning as well as books, was packed yesterday. Lamont attendance has been abnormally high ever since the heat wave began.


Yesterday the mercury hit 93 at 2 p.m. but by 10 p.m. the temperature was already down to 79.

A spokesman for the Weather Bureau was happy to talk about the cold front, but when asked how long the respite will last, he clammed up. "No comment," he said.