The heat wave has officially hit the area, and both an excessive heat watch for Nassau County and an air quality alert for Long Island have been announced.
The excessive heat watch will remain in effect from Friday afternoon through Friday evening. At this time, heat index values could rise to 105 degrees, the National Weather Service said.
On Thursday meteorologist say the high will be near 91 degrees. The heat is then forecasted to intensify on Friday, with a high near 96 degrees and heat index values as high as 103.
An air quality alert is also in effect until 11 p.m. Thursday evening for the metro area. Forecasters expect air quality levels to be greater than 100 due to elevated pollution levels. In response to this the New York Department of Transportation has declared Thursday an Air Quality Action Day, and asks residents to reduce their car use by combining errands, postponing unnecessary trips and using public transportation.
The NWS cautions that the combination of heat and humidity could lead to dangerous heat illnesses.They suggest that those who work or spend time outside take extra precautions and try to schedule strenuous activities to the early morning or evening. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration recommends that outdoor workers take frequent rest breaks in shaded or air conditioned areas.
Officials also recommend residents wear light weight and loose fitting clothing and up their water intake, and say that those especially vulnerable to the excessive heat and high pollutant levels are the young, the elderly, and those with pre-existing respiratory problems such as asthma or heart disease.
Symptoms of heat-related illnesses may include: headache, dizziness, fatigue, anxiety, nausea, vomiting, and low pulse rate, according to the department of health. Other symptoms may include cold pale and clammy skin or hot, flushed dry skin.
Meteorologists say Saturday will remain hot with a high near 95 and a slight chance of showers and thunderstorms, but the temperature will cool by Sunday with a high near 88 degrees.
Nassau and Suffolk county officials opened cooling centers, and the Long Island Power Authority urged customers to conserve energy. Town of Islip officials said a cooling center at Brentwood Senior Center will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. starting Friday.
Local pools in the Town of Hempstead will remain open for an extra hour to help residents cool off.
Nassau officials announced that free air conditioners will be made available to the elderly, families with young children and people with pre-existing medical conditions. The offer is a first-come, first serve basis and residents must provide proof of medical need, income, permission from landlords, and cannot own a working air conditioner. Residents can call (516) 541- 1006 ext. 14.
Places to cool off:
Town of Hempstead Locations:
Expected Hours of Operation: Thursday-Friday 9 a.m. – 8 p.m., unless specified otherwise.
Baldwin Senior Center, 1810 N. Grand Ave., Baldwin, (516) 546-7110
Bellmore Senior Center, 2000 Bellmore Ave., Bellmore, (516) 221-9696
Cedarhurst Senior Center, 200 Cedarhurst Ave., Cedarhurst (516) 295-1177 (Open until 4:30 p.m.)
East Meadow Senior Center, 1485 Front Street, East Meadow, (516) 794-2458 (Open until 4:45 p.m.)
Elmont Senior Center, 138 Elmont Rd., Elmont, (516) 354-4777
Franklin Square Senior Center, 1182 Martha Pl. Franklin Square, (516) 328-3010
Green Acres Senior Center, 400 Flower Rd., Valley Stream, (516) 872-8810
Levittown Senior Center, 555 N. Newbridge Rd., Levittown, (516) 433-5454
Merrick Senior Center, 2550 Clubhouse Road, Merrick, (516) 868-4777 (Open until 4:45 p.m.)
Oceanside Senior Center, 2900 Rockaway Ave., Oceanside, (516) 766-8888
Rosa Parks Senior Center, 2 Babylon Tpke., Roosevelt (516) 867-1612
Salisbury Senior Center, 460 Salisbury Park Drive, Westbury, (516) 333-5440
Uniondale-Hempstead Senior Center, 840 Uniondale Ave., Uniondale (516) 292-1313
Uniondale-Merrick Senior Center, 750 Jerusalem Ave., Uniondale (516) 538-5050
The Salvation Army, 66 Church Street, (516) 378-4557
(Open Wednesday/Thursday/Friday 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.)
Rockville Centre Locations:
The Leonard S. Sandel Senior Center, 50 South Park Avenue, (516) 678-9350
(Open Thursday & Friday 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.)
The Anderson Recreation Center, 111 Oceanside Road (516) 678-9238
(Open Thursday/Friday/Saturday 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.)
Town of Oyster Bay Locations:
William P. Bennett Hicksville Community Center, 28 Carl Street, Hicksville (516) 797-7900
(Open Thursday/Friday/Saturday 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.)
Town of North Hempstead Locations:
Clinton G. Martin Park, Marcus Avenue & New Hyde Park Rd., New Hyde Park, (516) 869-6311
(Open Thursday & Friday 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.)
Charles J. Fuschillo Park, Carle Road at Broadmoor Lane, Carle Place, (516) 869-6311
(Open Thursday & Friday 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.)
Town of Islip
Brentwood Senior Center: 16 2 Nd Ave, Brentwood (Opens Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.)