High temperatures and increased humidity could pose danger to at-risk populations, including seniors and small children; severe storms to potentially impact state later in week
Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Sunday urged New Yorkers to prepare for another extended period of high heat and humidity expected to continue through the middle of the week. Heat index values reaching up to the mid-90s are forecast through Wednesday, while humidity levels are expected to remain high.
In addition, the National Weather Service predicts a front moving across the state later in the week may provide favorable conditions for severe weather such as thunderstorms. New Yorkers should monitor local weather forecasts for the most updated information. For a complete listing of weather watches, warnings, advisories and latest forecasts, visit the National Weather Service website.
"We are expecting another round of high heat and humidity to impact most of the state and continue through the middle of the week," Cuomo said. "I strongly urge all New Yorkers to take action to prevent heat-related illnesses or injury, especially young children, seniors and those with respiratory conditions who are vulnerable to high heat. Check on neighbors, limit outdoor activity, and stay safe."
Heat indexes could reach up to 95 degrees or more in some locations during this stretch, and the highest heat index values will occur during the afternoon hours. Several heat advisories have been issued by the National Weather Service for locations across the state through Tuesday evening. Showers and thunderstorms, some strong, are likely later in the week for much of the state as a front passes through.
Cuomo’s press release stated, “This period of hot weather will result in an increased risk of heat stress and heat-related illness. People who are susceptible to heat related illnesses – including young children, the elderly, those who exercise outdoors, those involved in vigorous outdoor work, and those who have respiratory diseases such as asthma – should take necessary steps to stay cool as temperatures rise.”
His team offered the following:
Excessive heat is the leading cause of preventable, weather-related deaths each year, particularly among the elderly. According to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, heat causes more than 600 preventable deaths in the U.S. yearly.
The following people are most at risk:
√ Elderly persons and small children are mostly affected
√ Persons who are overweight/obese
√ Persons on certain medications or drugs
√ Avoid strenuous activity and exercise, especially during the sun's peak hours of 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
√ Exercise and activity should be done in the early morning between 4 and 7 a.m.
√ Drink plenty of water and noncaffeinated beverages.
√ Stay out of the sun and try to cool off in an air-conditioned building for a few hours during the hottest part of the day. The sun heats the inner core of your body, resulting in dehydration. If air conditioning is not available, stay on the lowest floor, out of the sunshine, or go to a public building with air conditioning
√ If you must go outdoors, wear sunscreen with a high sun protector factor rating, at least SPF 15 and a hat to protect your face and head. When outdoors, wear loose-fitting, lightweight and light-colored clothing. Cover as much skin as possible to avoid sunburn and over-warming effects of sunlight on your body.
√ Do not leave children, pets or those who require special care in a parked car or vehicle during periods of intense summer heat. Temperatures inside a closed vehicle can reach over 140 degrees Fahrenheit quickly. Exposure to such high temperatures can kill within a matter of minute.
√ Make an effort to check on your neighbors during a heat wave, especially if they are elderly, have young children or have special needs. Make sure there is enough food and water for pets
Know Signs of Heat Related Illness
Prolonged exposure to the heat can be harmful and potentially fatal. Call 911 if you or someone you know shows signs or symptoms of heat illness, including:
√ Light headedness
√ Muscle cramps
For more information on how to stay safe during periods of excessive heat, click here.
New Yorkers Urged to Conserve Electricity
Taking smart steps to reduce energy use, particularly during periods of peak demand, not only helps to lower the state's peak load, it also saves consumers money when electricity is the most expensive. To reduce energy use, particularly during peak periods, the public is encouraged to take some of the following low- or no-cost energy saving measures:
√ Close drapes, windows and doors on your home's sunny side to reduce solar heat buildup.
√ Turn off air conditioners, lights and other appliances when not at home and use a timer to turn on your air conditioner about a half-hour before arriving home. Use advanced power strips to centrally "turn off" all appliances and save energy.
√ If purchasing an air conditioner, look for an ENERGY STAR-qualified model. ENERGY STAR air conditioners use up to 25% less energy than a standard model.
√ Fans can make rooms feel 5 to 10 degrees cooler and use 80% less energy than air conditioners.
√ Set your air conditioner at 78 degrees or higher to save on your cooling costs.
√ Place your air conditioner in a central window, rather than a corner window, to allow for better air movement.
√ Consider placing the unit on the north, east or the best-shaded side of your home. Your air conditioner will have to work harder and use more energy if it is exposed to direct sunlight.
√ Seal spaces around the air conditioner with caulking to prevent cool air from escaping.
√ Clean the cooling and condenser fans plus the coils to keep your air conditioner operating efficiently and check the filter every month and replace as needed.
√ Use appliances such as washing machines, dryers, dishwashers and ovens early in the morning or late at night. This will also help reduce humidity and heat in the home.
√ Use energy-efficient, ENERGY STAR-qualified light bulbs instead of standard incandescent light bulbs, and you can use 75% less energy.
√ Microwave food when possible. Microwaves use approximately 50% less energy than conventional ovens.
√ Dry clothes on a clothes line. If using a clothes dryer, remember to clean the dryer's lint trap before every load.
√ Be mindful of the different ways you're consuming water throughout your home. Instead of using 30 to 40 gallons of water to take a bath, install a low-flow showerhead, which uses less than 3 gallons a minute.
√ Lowering the temperature setting on your wash machine and rinsing in cold water will reduce energy use.
Additional tips on how to conserve energy is available on NYSERDA's website here.