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Steamy Haze Takes Over Heat in City

By  Jess Wisloski and Paul Lomax | July 7, 2012 12:44pm | Updated on July 7, 2012 3:25pm

NEW YORK CITY — An excessive heat warning was in effect all day Saturday until 6 p.m., as highs briefly reached near 100 degrees in some areas of the city for the third day in a row.

City dwellers skirted the denser areas for breezier climes in parks like Union Square, where shoppers crowded the farmers market midday, or sought sandy respites in areas like Orchard Beach.

Stacey Lee, 27, from the Bronx, said getting out to the beach was a vital way she could keep her sanity as temperatures rose. 

"I'm keeping calm, thinking cool, positive thoughts so I can chillax in this heat," she told DNAinfo.com New York, while hanging out at Orchard Beach.

Cathy Walcott, 25, from Harlem, said her tip was picking the right things to sip. 

Shoppers survive the heat in the Union Square Farmers' Market on July 7, 2012.
Shoppers survive the heat in the Union Square Farmers' Market on July 7, 2012.
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DNAinfo/Alan Neuhauser

"I've been drinking plenty of super cold ice tea and dipping into the freezing cold beach water to take the heat off," said Walcott.

Just after 12 noon, the city had already beat Friday's high of 93 degrees, and the mercury continued to climb, at one point nearly breaking the 100-degree record set on July 7, 2010. 

In Woodhaven, Queens, it hit 98 degrees at 1 p.m., according to 1010 WINS, but by 3 p.m. weather had cooled slightly to 90 degrees in Midtown, according to Accuweather.

Residents around the five boroughs got a surprise break as winds and showers relieved parts of the city in the mid-afternoon. Severe thunderstorm warnings were expected to last until 7 p.m., and scattered showers touched down around the city.

The FDNY was opening water hydrants upon request, said a spokesperson, who added that residents could ask for open hydrants at their nearest FDNY firehouse, and must have at least one person over the age of 18 in any group making the request. Hydrants would have to be in a safe location for children to play, the FDNY said, and will be opened with a water-saving sprinkler cap, and then shut down before dark.

Residents in all five boroughs were warned to stay hydrated and stay cool through the afternoon, as the extreme humidity can add to risks of heat stress, by the National Weather Service.

The city's 450 cooling centers will be open throughout Saturday and Sunday, the city announced, and residents can locate one at the Office of Emergency Management's website or by contacting 311.

The added humidity of 42 percent set the real-feel temperature at 105 degrees midday, acccording to Accuweather.