Heat wave: Triple-digit temperatures push East Coast to pools, malls

The forecasts call for hot weather not just during daytime, but also at night, when many people don't have air conditioning to keep their bedrooms cool. The heat wave could persist through the week.

Alex Brandon/AP
Children from Hebron, N.Y., splash in the water at the fountain in the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden in Washington Tuesday, as a heat wave hit the East Coast. The National Archives is seen at rear.
Rich Clabaugh/Staff
Tuesday's high temperature forecasts

Residents of the East Coast are baking in 100-degree temperatures Tuesday, possibly the peak day in a heat wave that forecasters say could persist through the week.

Call it a warm welcome for Queen Elizabeth II, who arrived in New York City to address the United Nations – her first UN appearance since 1957. But it's especially affecting those without air-conditioned limousines – which means just about everyone in America's most heavily populated region, the corridor from Boston to Washington, D.C.

The heat and humidity pushed hordes of people to seek comfort in fountains, pools, and temperature-controlled malls or movie theaters. Mayors and health officials warned residents to take precautions against the heat. A particular concern: The forecasts call for hot weather not just during daytime, but also at night, when many people don't have air conditioning to keep their bedrooms cool.

IN PICTURES: Beating the summer heat

Tuesday started hot and then got hotter. By midday Tuesday, temperatures across the region had skyrocketed toward 100 degrees F. in key cities:

Washington. The nation's capital is expected to hit a peak temperature of 102 Tuesday and 100 on Wednesday, according to forecasts by the National Weather Service. Daily highs are poised to remain above 90 for most of the next 10 days.

New York. Manhattan is also sweltering under a blend of Arizona heat – a sizzling 100 at midday, according to weather.com – and East Coast humidity.

Boston. The heat is also on in New England, even in places where temps may not officially enter the triple digits. The Boston forecast calls for high 90s in the day and an evening low around 75 Tuesday, but it may take awhile for bedrooms to actually get down to that zone of relative comfort.

The heat wave spans much of the Eastern United States. The National Weather Service posted a heat advisory for southern Michigan, eastern Kentucky, and a large area from Virginia to upstate New York, Vermont, and New Hampshire. Many Western mountain and Plains states are experiencing thunderstorms and cooler temperatures.

"Extreme summer heat can be more than uncomfortable, it can be deadly," warned a July 5 bulletin by the US Department of Health and Human Services. The note cautioned about risks of doing strenuous activity in hot weather.

Simple steps that can help prevent overheating, according to Larry Mellick of the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta (cited in the department's note), include:

• Schedule outdoor activities for early morning or early evening.

• Take regular breaks in shady areas or indoors.

• Use sunscreen, hats, and lightweight, light-colored clothing.

• Drink plenty of fluids like good old water, even when you're swimming.

• If you don't have air conditioning, go to a public place that does have it or take a cool shower or bath.

• Minimize use of the stove or oven.

IN PICTURES: Beating the summer heat


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