Forecasters are forecasting record high daily temperatures in New York City and other parts of the Northeast for Sunday as a nationwide scorching is expected to peak in many places in the United States.
New York City — where officials confirmed a heat-related death on Saturday — was expected to break a few degrees from the previous July 24 record of 97 degrees, set in 2010. Richard Bann, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, said Saturday. (The highest point ever for Central Park, 106 degrees, takes place in July 1936according to the weather service.)
Officials across the country are bracing for the high temperatures that followed several days of a heat wave.
About 66 million people live in areas which had dangerous levels of heat on Saturday, meaning a heat index of at least 103 degrees. The heat index is a measure of how warm it really feels outside, taking into account humidity and temperature.
Large areas of the Midwest, including Kansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma, experience such heat, along with areas from Southern California to the North Carolina coast.
Several other areas, including parts of the Texas Panhandle and the Tennessee Valley, would also approach or break daily temperature records on Sunday, Bann said.
Temperatures on Monday should be almost as high as Sunday, but then moderate in the northeast and other parts of the country, he said.
“It’s Tuesday by the time we get cooler air in the Northeast and parts of the Mid-Atlantic,” he said.
Late Saturday, the Chief Medical Examiner’s office in New York City confirmed a heat-related death with contributing factors such as hypertensive cardiovascular disease and emphysema. No other information about the death – including the victim’s location, time or name – was immediately released.
Philip O’Brien, a spokesman for Con Edison, the city’s electric utility, said Saturday’s peak megawatt consumption in New York City and the nearby county of Westchester was about 10,300, less than this month’s peak of 11,500 megawatts. on Wednesday . That peak itself was lower than in years past, with the record of about 13,300 megawatts set in July 2013.
That decline in usage over time is due in part to more energy-efficient appliances, he said. Of the more than 3.5 million customers, only 27 were out of service by the end of Saturday, a lower number than would be expected “after what we’ve been through this week,” he said.
“It indicates that the system has been strengthened and that it is holding up,” said Mr O’Brien, adding: “We are hopeful that our good performance can continue tomorrow.”
To protect the power grid, New York City officials early residents to consume less energy. Some suggestions included turning the air conditioning to 78 degrees and unplugging appliances such as televisions and computers.
“You can also go to the beach or the pool to keep cool!” said the city on Twitter (although not Rockaway Beach, which was closed on Saturdays after shark sightings).
Philadelphia has declared a heat emergency, Mayor Jim Kenney said Thursday. The action activates several city services designed to protect people, including making libraries available as cooling stations and placing air-conditioned buses throughout the city.
The Boston Triathlon, scheduled for Sunday, was postponed to August 21 “due to current historic weather conditions affecting Boston.” said in a statement. (Organizers of the New York City Triathlon, also scheduled for Sunday, have shortened the bike and ran parts of the race.)
Boston on Thursday extended a heat emergency, which was announced Monday, will last through Sunday. The heat index in Boston could reach 105 degrees on Sunday, according to the National Weather Service.
Hundreds of people die every year in the United States from extreme heat. To stay safe, the National Weather Service recommends that people drink fluids, stay in cooler rooms, stay out of the sun, and monitor vulnerable family members and neighbors.
While linking a single heatwave to climate change requires deeper analysis, heatwaves around the world are becoming more frequent, more dangerous and lasting longer.
the 2018 National Climate Assessment, a major scientific report by 13 federal agencies noted that the number of warm days increased and the frequency of heat waves in the United States increased from an average two a year in the 1960s to six a year in the 2010s.