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Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Heat wave scorches the Northeast, New York, Boston as temperatures skyrocket

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Remark

Brutal heat weighs on much of the United States this weekend, with nearly 96 million Americans sweltering under heat advisories or warnings and heat indices in the Northeast soaring in the triple digits.

Officials up and down the Interstate 95 corridor urged residents to hydrate and watch for signs of heat-related illness as people flocked to swimming pools and cooling centers for help in cities stretching from Boston to D.C.

More than 30 National Weather Service stations could approach or exceed record temperatures by Sunday, the NWS Weather Prediction Center said Friday. High humidity pushes heat indices — the temperature the air feels — above 100 degrees Fahrenheit, a reversal from the relatively temperate start of the Northeast to summer.

“The ‘Dog Days of Summer,'” said the Weather Prediction Center, “are undoubtedly here.”

the extreme heat, expected to continue until early next week, another warning sign that climate change is increasingly endangering what has traditionally been a time associated with relaxing summer vacations. Temperatures are rising, wildfires are becoming more severe and droughts are becoming more frequent — a striking change from previous generations, scientists say.

Summer in America is getting hotter, longer and more dangerous

In some cities, this weekend’s extreme heat caused major events to be changed due to safety concerns. The Boston Triathlon originally scheduled for Sunday was postponed to the end of August “due to the current heat emergency”. While the New York City triathlon and duathlon still take place on Sunday, organizers announced that they had shortened the competition’s cycling and running segments.

“The safety of our athletes and everyone in attendance is our top priority,” New York City triathlon organizers said.

New York officials turned public spaces into cooling centers and offered spray hoods for fire hydrants, which are intended to reduce the amount of water released when people open the hydrants to stay cool. The city’s weather station said the next two days would be the “hottest weekend of the year yet” in the area, warning that temperatures would soar into the 90s and could feel even higher.

If the New York heatwave continues through Monday, it would match a similar seven-day heatwave in 2013, when heat indices hit at least 95 degrees each day.

Boston was set to experience temperatures in the high 80s to high 90s Saturday, with “comfortable” humidity levels. But the weather service warned of more oppressive heat for Sunday, with heat index values ​​reaching 105 degrees.

Excessive heat can be dangerous, making it difficult for the body to cool itself and potentially causing a rapid pulse, nausea, or loss of consciousness. The unsafe temperatures are forcing people along the Atlantic coast to figure out how to protect themselves.

What extreme heat does to the human body?

Susan Driscoll, 58, said she started running earlier than usual to avoid the Boston heat. The photographer and personal trainer took a picture of the sunrise at Paul Revere Park on Saturday mornings.

“Miles have dropped and pace has dropped,” she said due to the heat, adding that she’s “listening to her body” this weekend.

“I didn’t have any races or anything on the agenda, thank goodness because I might have gone out to run it,” Driscoll said.

In Philadelphia, where the heat index could reach the low to mid 100s on Sundays, the fire brigade begged residents not to use fire hydrants cooling down — warning that opening the hydrants could damage them and nearby property and people. It encouraged residents to find public swimming pools and spray parks, instead of.

The District of Columbia is preparing for temperatures to potentially reach triple digits for the first time since 2016. Temperatures there already felt like the mid-90s on Saturday morning and continued to rise, The Washington Post’s Capital Weather Gang reported. In response, the city has extended the hours of public swimming pools, opened cooling centers and expanded the number of beds in the homeless shelters to provide people with a cool place to sleep.

The heat wave is especially challenging for some residents of the Northeast, where air conditioning isn’t as ubiquitous as it is in other parts of the country.

Lauren Kinsley said she’s been working from her Manhattan home for the past few days to avoid the heat.

“I only have one air conditioner in my apartment — one window unit — but I try to keep costs down,” says Kinsley, 32, who works in fundraising. “So it’s just been sweltering in my apartment all week, and at this point I was just going out to get coffee. And I came back soaked.”

Kinsley said she plans to go to “Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris’ in a movie theater this weekend, in part because it means she’ll be in an air-conditioned room.

“But you have to brave the heat to get there,” she said, adding that she’s holding off shopping until the weather cools down.


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