Heat continues through mid-week, but here’s why experts say you can endure

Local News

NEW YORK — After a hot weekend, the heat was on again in the tri-state region on Monday, and with even higher levels of humidity. 

Another hot day is on tap for Tuesday, but the almanac shows that people in our region can handle it, even though it’s a reminder that even more hazardous heat could be on the way this summer.

During the midday hours of Monday, children and their families were staying out of the sun, and, if they could find it, in water sprinklers.

Chance Edmonds, 11, ran with his friend Troi Carter, 9, in the sprinklers in Thomas Jefferson Park in East Harlem.

“It was burning hot,” Edwards said about the day that had a heat index well above 90 degrees. “As I soon got in that water, I felt great.”

At Newark Liberty International Airport, the 92-degree reading was the reason the surrounding area was placed under a heat advisory by the National Weather Service. 

New York City wasn’t quite intensely hot enough to to be placed under a similar advisory.  

Weather historian Rob Frydlewicz tried to put it in perspective.

“It’s certainly uncomfortable,” he said about Monday’s heat. “I think of heatwaves from 50 or more years ago, when there was no air conditioning. It could be a lot worse.”

He acknowledged that nobody really wants high heat and humidity in early June, but said, “This is to be expected every four or five years.”

It’s not such a different assessment than the one the City of New York made regarding overall conditions.

When there’s a heat emergency, cooling centers are opened. On Monday, though, the city’s cooling center finder website was not activated.  

John Scrivani, the commissioner of the Office of Emergency Management, explained that it takes specific conditions to cause that activation.  

“It’s two days consecutive with a heat index of 95 degrees … or one day with a heat index of 100,” Scrivani told PIX11 News.

He said the agency follows the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the city’s Department of Health, and orders from the mayor when determining cooling center activations.  

Scrivani did advise people to not over exert themselves, especially with Tuesday’s forecast showing a high in the upper 80s, and more high humidity. However, he pointed out the overnight temperatures are still dropping fairly well. That prevents people from overheating, he said.

“In the middle of the summer, when it’s 95 during the day and it’s 85 [to] 90 at night, there’s really no relief for people,” the commissioner said.

With overnight temperatures in the low to mid-70s, people get some relief.

“We don’t have that sustained 90-plus, [or] 95-plus [temperature] for 24 hour periods, because it’s early in the season,” Scrivani said. 

When cooling centers aren’t an option, here are some other ways to beat the heat.

  • The pool, spray parks and beaches are great places to cool off
  • Wear sunscreen
  • Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing
  • Limit strenuous outdoor activities
  • Stay cool indoors where air conditioning is available, such as a museum
  • Drink lots of water and avoid caffeine
  • Check on kids, seniors and pets

And if you do have air conditioning at home, Con Edison has some tips to help you save energy while keeping cool.

  • Set air conditioning to the highest comfortable temperature. Con Edison says for every degree you lower the thermostat, your bill is driven up by 6%.
  • Close doors to keep cool air in and hot air out.
  • Even when you use your AC, use ceiling and other fans for better circulation and additional cooling.
  • Keep shades, blinds and curtains closed (40% of unwanted heat comes through the windows).
  • Turn off AC units, lights and other appliances when you’re not home, or use a timer to turn on the AC about a half-hour before arriving home.
  • Keep AC filters clean.
  • Run home appliances, including washing machines and ovens, in the early morning or late at night when its cooler outside.

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