New York City is sweltering through its first official heat wave of the summer.
The threshold for what constitutes a heat wave varies by region, but here in the northeastern United States it is defined as three consecutive days with temperatures reaching 90°F or higher. Tuesday marked the city’s fourth day of sweltering conditions.
In Central Park, the temperature reached 93°F on Saturday, 96°F on Sunday, 95°F on Monday, and 92°F on Tuesday. The humidity made it feel even hotter. The heat index – the so-called real feel temperature – reached into the triple digits in some spots.
The main driver of this dramatic heat and humidity is 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 are oppressive, they can also be dangerous. The NWS issued both an excessive heat warning and air quality alert for the city.
The normal high for this time of year in the Big Apple is 83°F.