School's Out and Heat is On as Temps Could Top 98 Degrees
By Nicole Bode
DNAinfo Senior Editor
MANHATTAN — A heat wave will continue baking the Big Apple for a second day, with temperatures creeping up toward 100 degrees as city schoolkids seek relief from the heat on a citywide day off from public schools.
The National Weather Service warned temperatures could reach 99 degrees in Manhattan, and they issued a heat advisory and an air quality alert with a hazy day expected. That would top the record high temperature for June 9, which topped out at 97 degrees in 1933, according to reports.
The state Department of Environmental Conservation issued an Air Quality Health Advisory, in effect through 11 p.m., as smog and pollution are expected to choke the city for a second straight day.
"Temperatures are soaring," mayor Michael Bloomberg warned at a press conference in East Harlem Thursday afternoon. "I encourage everyone to use an air conditioning if you have one," Bloomberg added, and advised those without it to head to places that do, like malls and movie theaters, or go to cooling centers.
Bloomberg said that city beaches are open but urged swimmers to beware.
"Please do not swim if there's not a lifeguard on duty. Being hot is bad. Being dead is worse," he said, noting serious tides in some areas.
"Every year we have a few tragedies and there’s no excuse for that," he said.
A spokesman for the mayor said there have been no casualties related to the heat yet.
Bloomberg also warned of the dangers of fans, which he said can create a "convection oven effect" when turned on inside a room if the window's not open or AC is not on.
He added that New Yorkers should Drink plenty of water, wear light clothing, don't leave pets in cars and don't exercise in the heat.
"Trying to prove that you're an Ironman and having a heart attack doesn’t leave you better off," he said.
Public school students have the day off today for staff development, leaving parents scrambling for some kid-friendly relief from the heat.
The fountain at Battery Park was full of kids splashing around, including 13-month-old Serena Gullace and her mom, Chriss.
The pair kept cool in the water streams while waiting for the rest of the family to get back from their visit Statue of Liberty. The Gullace family was visiting from Australia, where they say mid-90-degree days are nothing new.
"We're used to it," Gullace said of the heat, since it often gets up into the 90s in Melbourne. "Still, it makes it hard to travel."
New Yorkers can head ask their local FDNY stationhouses or NYPD precinct for sprinkler caps to put onto their local fire hydrants to allow kids to play in the water, an FDNY spokesman said.
If the fire hydrant has a special guard opening that restricts the existing cap being removed, New Yorkers can ask the firehouse to replace the cap with a sprinkler cap for them, and then the station will have to come back and remove it at the end of the day, an FDNY spokesman said.
New Yorkers can also seek shelter from the heat wave at one of the many cooling centers located around the borough.
The city's Office of Emergency Management reminded New Yorkers to stay smart on hot days and drink plenty of fluids and avoid being outside for extended periods of time.
ConEd warned customers to prevent blackouts by conserving electricity and only running air conditioners in rooms when necessary.