It took until September, but New York City’s first official heat wave is on the books and the hot weather is here for to stay for at least a few more days.
The mercury reached 93 degrees in Central Park Thursday after 93- and 92-degree showings Wednesday and Tuesday — marking the official heat wave threshold of three straight days above 90, something that wasn’t met during the city’s last hot stretch in July.
Still, the Big Apple had been baking beforehand, with temperatures in the high 80s stretching back to last weekend, according to Fox Weather Center Meteorologist Samantha Thomas.
“In terms of it being hot, and people feeling hot, its been multiple days now,” Thomas said.
“Obviously, it felt much hotter the last couple of days, and even over the weekend too, you know that also adds into it, the humidity made it feel like it was in the 90s every day,” she explained.
“For the technicality of an official heat wave, technically, we had to wait until today, but does anybody, you know, do you really feel the difference between 89 and 90 when you’re out? Not really. Hot is hot!”
The heat wave had been unseasonable for a transitional month, where historically the city only sees one day over 90, although the summer of 1961 saw eight sweltering September days.
“Over the past five years we have seen a couple more than one, but on average it should be only one,” said Thomas.
It’s often sweater weather at the annual US Open in Flushing, but this time around bare chests, ice packs and portable fans were the norm around Arthur Ashe Stadium.
Former tournament champ Daniil Medvedev of Russia even went as far as telling an on-court camera that “You can’t imagine” the heat, and warned: “One player (is) gonna die.”
The heat wave will technically end Friday, but its spirit was set to continue, Thomas said, cautioning, “It’s still going to feel like it’s in the 90s.”
Sporadic rain Friday night was set to cool things off slightly.
“Tomorrow we have a better chance for some rain. That’s also what’s helping to break some of the heat, we have a cold front coming in,” Thomas explained.
“It’s not a massive drop in temperature… we’re only dropping a few degrees but it will still help dry it out a little bit, it won’t be quite as humid,” the forecaster said.
“Once we get into the weekend, Saturday, Sunday, we’re looking at low to mid-80s,” the forecaster said, adding it would be “a little more bearable.”
“Still above average, normally we should be at [a high of ] 79, but it’s not quite as hot.”
Fans of more traditional late summer weather will be in luck during the workweek, according to Thomas.
“By next week it looks like we’re actually going to get where we should be this year, which is upper 70s, maybe a little bit below that.
“By Thursday we’re down to 75, so next week we’re getting towards more typical second week of September temperatures.”