Second Heat Wave of the Year Bakes NYC

The summer solstice is still a week away, but New York City is already sweltering through its second heat wave of the year.

The threshold for what constitutes a heat wave varies by region, but here in the northeast, it is defined as three consecutive days with temperatures reaching 90°F or higher. This week, the mercury in Central Park soared to 90°F on Sunday, 93°F on Monday, and 94°F on Tuesday.

The high temperature on Monday tied the record for the date that was set in 1973. Monday also posted a new record warm low reading – known as a maximum minimum temperature – of 76°F. The previous record of 73°F was set in 2015.

The last time the city saw temperatures reach the mid-90s was August 2016. The average high and low for this time of year in the Big Apple is 79°F and 63°F, respectively.

This dramatic heat was the result of a dominant Bermuda High, a large area of high pressure situated off the east coast. Spinning clockwise, it has been steering hot, humid air from the Gulf of Mexico toward the northeast.

While these conditions can feel oppressive, they can also cause a number of health problems. The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation issued an Air Quality Health Advisory for the city and encouraged people to limit their time outdoors.

If you are not a fan of the heat, fear not. Weather that is more seasonable is expected to return later this week.

The second heat wave of the year is baking the Big Apple. Credit: Melissa Fleming

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About Melissa Fleming

Melissa Fleming is an environmental communicator and visual artist working at the intersection of art and science. She is passionate about exploring, learning, and sharing information about the natural world. She has presented her interdisciplinary work in a variety of mediums at venues and conferences around the world.