If you have spent even one minute outside these past few days, you already know that you can just forget it. In fact, forget everything. It is cloyingly, infuriatingly, violently hot out there, as if that rogue furnace from classic horror novel The Shining was working below the city, ratcheting up its fiery temperature degree by steaming degree until this entire operation blows sky high. (At least we might enjoy a brief breeze.) Or, with temperatures threatening 104 degrees, it is as if the entire metropolis were actually the Downtown 4/5/6 subway platform at Union Square.

Governor Andrew Cuomo suggests we find relief from this hellmouth in "one of the many pools, beaches and cooling stations" scattered around New York, but unfortunately, this heat wave hit midweek. Many of us will not have time to visit any of the aforementioned oases until Saturday at least, but by the time we reach the weekend—Labor Day weekend, a long weekend, potentially the last banner beach weekend of summer—this inferno should flame out. At least from this vantage point, it looks as though The Weather reserved another disappointing turn for Labor Day weekend. Cloudy skies and swampy air ahead!

In New York City, temperatures look primed to dip starting tomorrow, sliding down from the low 100s/high 90s arena to the 70s by Friday. At the same time, though, humidity should climb: Friday's forecast includes night showers, which are expected to recede by Saturday, when temperatures in the high 70s to mid 80s may besiege the city. Although Monday (Labor Day) could reach 89 degrees, the Weather Channel warns of isolated thunderstorms. Fun bonus: Humidity may range between 73 and 79 percent the whole time.

Even if the sky looks grim, that heat-and-oppressive-humidity combo may actually translate to acceptable swimming conditions. Let's see what's happening on some of NYC's beaches, shall we?

The Rockaways don't actually look terrible: On Saturday, we might get partly cloudy skies with a low of 70 degrees and a high of 75. If that sounds too chilly for you, please keep in mind that the air may be 86 percent moisture-saturated, which should keep you feeling uncomfortable enough to forsake the sand for the ocean. Sunday holds morning rain, with temperatures reaching 82 and humidity weighing in at 84 percent. Monday will also be partly cloudy, with the heat and humidity reaching equilibrium at 83 percent. So nice when they work together.

Of course, all of this is subject to change without warning, so room for optimism remains. After an August of mostly muggy and bad beach weekends, I for one will take a drizzly overcast beach over no beach at all. Summer's almost over and the choice, as I see it, is make the best of it or cry alone in a cold bath (which is the plan tonight).

For some vital tips on beating the heat, we turn to Mickey Rourke.