'MANHATTAN — The city is set to sizzle under near record temperatures Wednesday as a heat advisory went into effect and the city opened cooling centers. The mercury is expected to touch 95 with high humidity — and no relief tonight. The heat is not expected to dip below 78. Tomorrow is expected to be even hotter, with highs of 97 forecast.
Wednesday's heat matches the highest temperature ever recorded on June 8, which was in 1933, according to the Weather Undergound.
Officials sought to get the word out about cooling centers located all over the city, including some of Manhattan's public space like libraries, senior centers and community centers. Experts advised anyone without an air-conditioned place to spend the day to travel to the closest cooling center, and to drink plenty of liquids throughout the day.
Anyone who believes they may be suffering heat stroke is urged to call a doctor immediately or go to the closest emergency room. Symptoms of heat illness include hot, dry skin, cold, clammy skin; weakness; dizziness; nausea or vomiting; shortness of breath or trouble breathing; confusion and hallucinations, experts warned.
A list of Manhattan and the city's cooling centers is available the Office of Emergency Management's website.'
A couple of years ago, the crew and I went to a call for a six-day-old infant, not breathing. This is the kind of call every EMT in the world hates, dreads, has nightmares about. We went to the location and the mother and grandmother were there, and the infant, who did not look good, pinked right up and returned to normal the moment we put her in the ambulance, where the cool air was on and the temperature was no where near 98.
We spoke to the mother with the help of the EMT who spoke Hindi and explained to her that she needs to go out immediately and get an air conditioner for whatever room the baby sleeps in. They are no more than $100 for a decent one that, with the door closed, will do an excellent job of keeping a room cool. (Babies need to be in a certain temperature range. In July, the only way to manage that is with A/C. Heck, the four of us were ready to pony up $25 each to ensure they got one!
Still, you would think someone at the hospital would mention this... or coming from a horrifyingly hot country were few have any comforts, such as a floor, pipes with decent water, etc., that this would be logical. Most apartments are hot boxes.
I still, however, don't consider this news. I personally don't mind heat as long as it isn't humid, but that is atypical. Normally it is quite humid here. Yesterday was the exception and I hope today will be, too, but again, that is unusual. So far, at 10:35 it is 86 (already!) and down to 62% humidity. This is better than average already. By the time it hits the mid-90s the humidity should have dropped to the 40s. That is not the end of the world. None-the-less, even with our solar panels, we will be paying for the two days of unbelievable heat.
You won't find me out in my hammock in this kind of heat! Tomorrow, at 85, there shall I be, but not when it is 98 (or 102, as my car stated).