HAWTHORNE, NJ - After enduring a warm and humid mid-week, Hawthorne seems poised for a sidewalk-sizzling heat wave over the weekend. With the jet stream holding back cooler air north of the Saint Lawrence Valley, a high pressure system over the eastern continental United States will drive a stiflingly hot and humid air mass over the New York City metro area. Heat indices in places like Newark and Jersey City are expected to top 110 degrees, and could push electrical grids to their limits.

The blast of searing air will begin infiltrating the region on Friday, July 19, with temperatures in Hawthorne creeping into the mid-90s by midday. Overnight temperatures will fall back only to the low 80s, before rebounding to near 100 by midday Saturday—two degrees shy of a record high. Saturday night temperatures will again drop only into the low 80s, with Sunday temperatures rising into the upper 90s. Relief will come throughout the night on Sunday and early Monday morning, as the jet stream gradually dips over the region, allowing northern air to tongue down along the Appalachians. Temperatures throughout Monday to Friday next week will rise only into the mid-80s, with overnight lows bottoming in the mid-60s.

While the extreme heat will be relatively short-lived, 50% or more humidity will result in heat index values that could reach 112 on Friday and Saturday. The National Weather Service (NWS) describes this index as ‘dangerous’ and has issued an excessive heat watch for the area. The advisory cautions that excessive heat can quickly cause heat stress and stroke, and can result in death among vulnerable populations, including the elderly. Any outdoor work should be rescheduled to early morning and late evening, or else postponed entirely. If outdoor activities must be undertaken, the NWS advises to know the signs of heat injury, take frequent breaks, wear loose-fitting clothes, and drink plenty of water. Heatstroke is a potentially life-threatening emergency, and 9-1-1 should be called in all suspected cases.

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