It’s summer. It’s July.
That means it’s heat-wave time for Long Island, with the first of the season possibly on its way.
Friday was forecast to see temperatures rise to around 90 degrees in many areas as of late Wednesday. Make that the mid-90s for Saturday and Sunday, according to the National Weather Service in Upton. And, that’s all it would take for an official heat wave — three days in a row of 90 degrees or above.
That’s bare-bones temperatures only. When we look, too, at the amount of moisture in the air, meaning how humid it is, we end up with the heat index, which tells how hot and steamy it’s actually going to feel.
Nassau County and Western Suffolk are under an excessive heat watch Saturday, with potential for the heat index Friday and Saturday to range from 105 degrees up to as high as 112, the weather service said.
Indeed, "the peak of the heat” is expected for Saturday, said Carlie Buccola, weather service meteorologist. And on such humid days, even heading to the beach and being by the water will bring “little relief.”
One of a number of health concerns at such times is children and/or companion animals left, even briefly, in vehicles.
“In the summer, cars can heat up to dangerous temperatures very quickly and anyone left inside is at risk for serious heat-related illnesses or even death,” Nassau County Executive Laura Curran said Wednesday in a statement. “I strongly urge all residents to take extra precautions to make sure no one is left in the car — not even with the windows open.”
In addition, the combination of heat and humidity can be not only unbearable and uncomfortable, it can also be dangerous for children, seniors and those with chronic medical conditions, she said at a Tuesday news conference.
Curran and other officials advised residents to limit outdoor activities and to beat the heat by going to air-conditioned places, such as museums, malls or one of Nassau's more than 50 public libraries.
In their homes, people will seek relief by cranking up their air conditioners.
Having worked the past five years on system upgrades “to withstand extreme weather,” PSEG Long Island is “prepared to meet the increased electrical demand that high temperatures bring,” said John O’Connell, vice president of transmission and distribution.
Still, that’s not to rule out “scattered heat-related outages,” to be addressed as soon as possible, given the utility’s “significant resources,” PSEG said in a news release.
Nassau County officials on Tuesday opened four cooling centers and urged residents to take precautions as temperatures were expected to soar above 90 degrees starting Friday and lasting through the weekend.
A Suffolk County spokeswoman said Wednesday each town would decide when cooling centers open.
Some tips from PSEG Long Island for managing electric use during this sizzling stretch:
• Avoid peak demand hours of 2 to 8 p.m. when running major appliances, including washers, dryers, dishwashers, pool pumps. Better to opt for morning or late evening.
• Consider putting the air conditioner on a timer and keeping it off when no one’s at home.
• Unless health issues call for cooler conditions, set air conditioner to 78 degrees or above. You can supplement with fans to circulate cool air.
• Check that air conditioner coils are clean and that filters have been replaced.
Source: PSEG Long Island
Nassau cooling centers
Four cooling centers in Nassau County will be open through the weekend from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.:
• Mitchel Field Complex — 1 Charles Lindbergh Blvd., Uniondale, 516-572-0400
• Wantagh Park Community Center — 1 King Rd., Wantagh, 516-571-7460
• Grant Park — 1625 Broadway, Hewlett, 516-571-7821
• Cantiague Park — 480 West John St., Hicksville, 516- 571-7058
The latest heat advisories and information are available at nassaucountyny.gov/oem. Residents can also call the 24-hour hotline at 516-573-0636.
Source: Nassau County Executive's Office