Our first heat wave of the summer landed yesterday, and maybe you even enjoyed it a little bit. Maybe you felt that rare sense of camaraderie with your fellow New Yorkers, the same sense of all-in-this-togetherness that creeps up on you when you wind up stuck in a subway tunnel for two hours or sprinting in a horde away from the steamy Poop Car. But we're now solidly in day two humid high temps, and whatever romance the heat wave had is quickly fading in the face of another day of back sweat, dehydration headaches, and the prospect of heavy thunderstorms later this afternoon.
Temperatures could crawl into the 90s again today, and it'll feel as hot as 103 degrees in parts of the city. The NWS's heat advisory is in effect until 7 p.m. today, as is the hazardous weather outlook, but the air quality alert will be in effect until 11 p.m. Thunderstorms are expected to start this afternoon, and the Flash Flood Watch is in effect from noon through the afternoon, as it's possible we'll get as many as 2 inches of rain in a very short period of time.
How should you cope with this relentless heat and humidity? Accuweather's senior meteorologist recommends that "if you've got access to a pool, use it!"—but if you're not so lucky as to have a pool in your apartment building or backyard, check out our list of the best free and cheap(ish) swimming pools in the city. Cooling centers are also open all day today.
The good news is that it looks like temperatures will drop over the weekend, getting back into the mid- to high-80s. The bad news is that we should expect many more hot and humid hell days as the summer progresses, thanks to some unfavorable El Niño/La Niña conditions in the Pacific. And unless we radically cut our global carbon emissions, like, yesterday, we can all look forward to more melting ice sheets, rising sea levels, and increasingly lethal NYC summer heat waves.
If you're reading this from the comfort of your overly-air conditioned office, you can savor the heat vicariously by checking out Scott Heins's photos of New Yorkers melting across the city during yesterday's heat.