NEW JERSEY — Hot temperatures and high humidity may cause heat illnesses to occur over the next 24 hours, forecasters said on Wednesday.

A heat advisory is in effect from noon Wednesday until 6 p.m. Thursday, the National Weather Service said. The advisory applies to parts of Union, Passaic, Hudson, Bergen and Essex counties.

Heat index values, a measure of what the temperature feels like when accounting for humidity, are anticipated to rise to 98 degrees, the Weather Service said.

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Forecasters are also predicting a 40% chance of thunderstorms after 2 p.m. Wednesday.

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The National Weather Service offers the following tips to beat the heat:

Slow down: Reduce, eliminate or reschedule strenuous activities until the coolest time of the day. Children, seniors and anyone with health problems should stay in the coolest available place, which is not necessarily indoors.

Dress for summer: Wear lightweight, loose-fitting, light-colored clothing to reflect heat.

Eat light: Choose easy-to-digest foods such as fruit or salads. If you pack food, put it in a cooler or carry an ice pack. Don’t leave it sitting in the sun. Meats and dairy products can spoil quickly in hot weather.

Drink plenty of water (not very cold): Focus on non-alcoholic and decaffeinated fluids. Drink water even if you don’t feel thirsty. If you're on a fluid-restrictive diet or have a problem with fluid retention, consult a physician before increasing consumption of fluids.

Use air conditioners: Spend time in air-conditioned locations such as malls and libraries if your home isn’t air-conditioned.

Use portable electric fans: Fans exhaust hot air from rooms or draw in cooler air. Do not direct the flow of portable electric fans toward yourself when the room temperature is hotter than 90 degrees. The dry blowing air will dehydrate you faster, endangering your health.

Minimize direct exposure to the sun. Sunburn reduces your body’s ability to dissipate heat.

Take a cool bath or shower.

Do not take salt tablets: Only take salt tablets if recommended by a physician.

Be aware of infants, older, sick or frail people and pets.

Never leave children, disabled adults or pets in a car. Each year, dozens of children and untold numbers of pets left in parked vehicles die from hyperthermia.

Protect your electronics: Don’t leave cell phones and GPS units sitting in hot cars.

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