If Sunday felt like the world was your toaster - as temperatures reached 98 degrees - get ready for more of the same brand of broiling.

Meteorologists predict 90-degree-plus heat will hang around at least through Thursday, a five-day stretch that marks a remarkably long heat wave.

"Having that many days of heat in a row is unusual," said Joe Pollina of the National Weather Service in Upton, who defined a heat wave as three consecutive days of 90-plus degree temperatures.

Sunday's temperatures reached 95 in Central Park, 96 in Islip and 98 at Brookhaven Airport in Shirley and Republic Airport in Farmingdale, the highest reported on the Island.

At Kennedy Airport, the high was 101, which tied a record for the date in 1966, 44 years ago.

The National Weather Service also issued an air quality advisory Sunday because of high ozone levels.

The high temperature for Monday is predicted to hit 95 degrees and the low about 75 degrees. Skies should be sunny. Tuesday's similar, with a high of 94 and a low of 76.

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Wednesday may reach 93 degrees with a low of 79, and Thursday may hit 91 degrees or dip below 75 degrees.

And county officials said they may set up cooling centers to help people escape the heat.

"Suffolk County will be keeping an eye out on extreme heat conditions in the days ahead," said Dan Aug, a spokesman for Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy. He said that the county last year created a cooling center in the Town of Islip.

The warm weather on a holiday weekend sparked pilgrimages to Long Island's coolest spots: its beaches and parks.

The Long Island Power Authority reported no significant strain on energy resources yet and few outages, but area roads were choked with traffic.

Sunken Meadow State Park closed when its parking lots filled in the early afternoon, and parks officials urged those on the parkway to head to Heckscher State Park in Islip for swimming and picnicking or Belmont Lake for picnicking.

Attendance was also heavy at Jones Beach and Robert Moses state parks, parks spokesman George Gorman said.

The National Weather Service and parks officials said there was little risk of rip currents, except near piers and jetties. Those swimming encountered water temperatures of 63 degrees at Jones Beach and 67 at Robert Moses and Hither Hills state parks.

With Zachary R. Dowdy

A primer on avoiding heatstroke and dehydration:

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PREVENTION

  • Drink plenty of fluids. Avoid caffeinated drinks like tea, coffee and soda, especially during outdoor activities, and stay away from alcohol. Water and sports drinks are best.
  • Dress light. Wear a hat and sunglasses. Use an umbrella. Wear lightweight, loosefitting clothes in light colors.
  • Acclimate. Gradually increase the time you spend outdoors so your body gets used to the heat.
  • Avoid activity during hottest periods. Save the strenuous stuff for early morning or late evening.
  • Easy does it. Take drink breaks and use a misting spray bottle.
  • Don't get burned. When you're sunburned, it is more difficult for heat to leave your body. Use sunblock.

TREATMENT

  • Rehydrate. Water and sports drinks help regain normal electrolyte levels.
  • Get out of the heat. Bring the person indoors and lay him in a cool area while elevating his feet.

 

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  • Stimulate perspiration. Remove clothing and apply water to skin while fanning the person.

- TULA BATANCHIEV

SOURCES: Nassau police Emergency Ambulance Bureau; Nassau Health Commissioner