Experts Urge Caution As Heat, Humidity Blanket Much of U.S.

July 17, 2013
Heat Wave Reaches Day Four on Long Island

Featuring: Dr. Alan Kaplan, Director, Emergency Medicine, Plainview Hospital

It's day four of a heat wave, and Long Islanders can expect more of the same hot and humid conditions for the rest of the week -- perhaps even "dangerously hot" on Friday, forecasters said.
In fact, a heat advisory is already in effect from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday, according to the National Weather Service. Such an advisory is issued when the heat index -- which shows how hot it really feels, given the humidity level -- is expected to reach 100 to 104 degrees.

High temperatures for the next two days are forecast for the low 90s, and on Friday it may feel like 105 degrees at some point, said Mike Silva, weather Service meteorologist, based in Upton.

Friday "does look to be dangerously hot," he said, mainly for Nassau and western Suffolk.

The temperature at Long Island MacArthur Airport in Ronkonkoma had already hit 90 degrees before noon Wednesday, and by the early afternoon the heat was again taking its toll on another major roadway.
Westbound Sunrise Highway in Bay Shore buckled, prompting the temporary closure of one lane between exits 43 and 42 for emergency repairs, Suffolk County police said.

This comes a day after the Long Island Expressway buckled, forcing authorities to temporarily close two lanes to make repairs near Exit 68 in Manorville.

The heat is also causing problems above ground: An air quality health advisory, issued by the state Department of Environmental Conservation, is in effect for Long Island on Wednesday through 11 p.m.

And a little more than 2,000 LIPA customers were without power Wednesday afternoon as the heat wave continues to put stress on the electric system.

As of 3:15 p.m., LIPA's peak load had reached 5,423 megawatts, still well below its top capacity of around 6,300 megawatts, but nearing the six-year high reached Tuesday of 5,440 megawatts.
Around 1,400 of the 2,063 outages the Long Island Power Authority is reporting are in Oyster Bay Cove, according to LIPA's website.

LIPA has seen thousands of outages periodically through the week as high energy demand stresses the system. LIPA spokesman Mark Gross said around 20,000 customers have experienced an outage since the start of the heat wave.

With Wednesday's higher pollution levels courtesy of the heat and humidity, the state health department advises limiting strenuous outdoor activity, saying people who are most sensitive include the very young and those with respiratory problems, such as asthma and heart disease.
While heat exhaustion and dehydration don't seem to be bringing people to his hospital, more indirect heat-related issues are, said Dr. Alan Kaplan, director of emergency medicine at Plainview Hospital.

He said there has been a 10 percent to 15 percent increase in patients the past few days, reflecting those coming in with conditions, such as diabetes and asthma, that are aggravated by heat.

Kaplan advises people to check in on the elderly, even if they have air conditioning because many of those on fixed incomes don't run it, looking to save money.

Long Island's first heat wave of the summer became official shortly before noon Tuesday when the temperature hit 90 for the third day in a row at MacArthur Airport. Three consecutive days of 90 degrees or above translates into a heat wave, according to the service.

Tuesday's record high of 94 at the airport came shortly before 4 p.m., surpassing the previous high of 93 degrees in 1999.

Thanks to a ridge of high pressure stalled over the area, "oppressive heat and humidity" are in the forecast through Friday, possibly Saturday, depending on cloud cover from a cold front expected to bring relief, the weather service said. The front could also bring heavy rain and strong winds.

With an eye to providing some relief, hours at Jones Beach, Robert Moses, Heckscher, Hither Hills and Sunken Meadow state parks are extended to 8 p.m. through Friday, officials said. That also goes for hours at the Jones Beach West Bathhouse pool.

Suffolk is also opening cooling centers in Brentwood, Selden and Riverhead through 8 p.m. Wednesday, officials said. And hours at Nassau's major outdoor swimming pools were extended, according to an announcement.

Most Long Island towns announced special measures to deal with the heat, including extended pool hours and the opening of cooling centers.

New Yorkers are advised to conserve energy, especially during peak periods, with these tips from the state Public Service Commission and energy research and development authority: turn air conditioners off when no one is at home; otherwise, keep temperatures at 78 or above; use fans, which can make rooms feel five to 10 degrees cooler, using 80 percent less energy than air conditioners.

U.S. News & World Report
July 16, 2013
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Featuring: Dr. Salvatore Pardo, Associate Chair, Emergency Medicine, Long Island Jewish Medical Center

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The Weather Channel
July 16, 2013
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Featuring: Dr. Robert Glatter, Emergency Physician, Lenox Hill Hospital

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