US

About 195 Million People Are Under Watches and Warnings as the Heat Wave Begins to Reach Peak Temperatures

By Wire Service Content

Peak temperatures from a potentially deadly heat wave are expected to begin Friday, and major US cities are taking special measures to prepare—with New York City declaring an emergency.

Over the next few days, more than 85% of the lower 48’s population will see temperatures above 90 degrees Fahrenheit, CNN meteorologist Dave Hennen said, and more than half will see temperatures higher than 95 degrees.

About 195 million people were under a heat watch, warning or advisory Friday morning.

Track The Extreme Heat

The heat has the potential to break records and turn deadly as temperatures climb over the weekend all along the East Coast and through the Midwest.

East Coast

High temperatures are expected to scorch the major cities of the East Coast.

Why the heat index matters more than the temperature in this heat wave

Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington will be under excessive heat warnings on Friday. Further south, Raleigh is under a heat advisory.

Mayor Bill de Blasio has declared “a local emergency due to the extreme heat” in New York City. In an executive order that covers 9 a.m. Friday to 11:59 p.m. Sunday, the mayor is ordering office buildings 100 feet or taller to raise thermostats to 78 degrees in an effort to conserve energy. He also encouraged residents to set their thermostats higher to help reduce energy use.

“We are about to enter a heat emergency, and must do all we can to keep New Yorkers safe,” said de Blasio. “The city government is limiting its energy use to reduce strain on the electrical grid, and now private office buildings will also have to do their part.”

With extreme temperatures through Sunday, the Verizon New York City Triathlon has been canceled. The organization says it’s not safe for the athletes or the spectators.

The city is opening about 500 air-conditioned “cooling centers” in public facilities. Public pools will be open an extra hour (until 8 p.m.) from Friday through Sunday, And the city will set up portable drinking fountains at busy pedestrian areas through Sunday.

Also canceled in the region: Saturday’s card of horse racing at New York’s Saratoga Race Course, and all races Saturday and Sunday at the Maryland Jockey Club in Laurel—where the heat index will reach 110 to 115.

“The health and safety of our horses and jockeys is our highest priority,” said Maryland Jockey Club President and General Manager Sal Sinatra.

Midwest

Detroit is taking extra measures to make sure residents can get relief from the sweltering heat that is also expected in the Midwest.

In addition to cooling centers open on the weekdays, the city will open recreation centers on the weekend to give access to air-conditioning, according to a press release.

The mayor’s office and the Detroit Police Department will also be checking on homeless people to offer them transport to cooling centers this weekend, the release said.

As cities all over the region—such as Cleveland, Minneapolis, Chicago, Omaha and Detroit—face heat warnings or advisories, Detroit officials are urging residents to drink plenty of water, reduce outdoor activities, eat light and check on family and neighbors.

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