Perhaps you thought that, after weeks of muggy thunderstorms and surprise hail, this little pocket of sunshine we've been enjoying means a respite from The Weather's wrath. If that is the case, though, I must assume you spent the entire weekend hugging your AC unit, otherwise you would know that stepping outside feels like swan diving into a garbage incinerator while wearing a Snuggie over your Slanket. It is very, very hot, and according to the National Weather Service, it will continue to be very, very hot at least until tomorrow evening. After that, it will be slightly less hot, but just as sticky.
According to the NWS, a potent combination of heat and humidity will have us all feeling like we're gingerbread people baking in an enormous oven at 95 to 101 degrees, even though the actual temperature will allegedly top out in the low 90s. This merciless firestorm should persist through Tuesday at 8 p.m. Welcome to hell.
If you spent any time outdoors yesterday, when the NWS issued this heat advisory, you will already be aware of the situation. For those of you who happily sweated your way to the Rockaways Sunday, pleased at the sun's reappearance, sorry but I'm here to rain on your parade. Thunderbolts and lightning look poised to return by Wednesday, cooling off the temps by mere degrees. We may not crack 90, but we'll come close. Brace for uncomfortably soggy strangers sandwiching you on your commute, with a side of choking trash smells.
I say choking because, contributing to the mind-melting nature of this heat wave, we also have an air quality alert in effect until 11 p.m. tonight. Unusually high pollution levels may give those of you living in Richmond, Kings, Queens, New York, Bronx, Westchester, Rockland, Nassau, and Suffolk counties real reason to question your life choices.
In all seriousness, though, this relentless wave of heat poses particular risk for older adults (ages 65 and up); people experiencing homelessness; people with certain medical conditions, some of whom may take certain drugs that make them particularly susceptible to intense heat, or may be confined to their homes; pretty much anyone who cannot withstand hours spent marinating in this hellmouth. With an eye to the temperature's potential dangers, and perhaps in acknowledgment of the fact that central cooling does not come standard in this hot box we call home, the NYC Emergency Management Department will keep its cooling centers—libraries, community centers, senior centers, and NYCHA facilities—open to the public until we put this "heat emergency" behind us. Which, again, should happen tomorrow night.
Until then, please join us in the New York Public Library for a nice cathartic group cry.