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Summer Heatwave: New York Under Extreme Weather Alert

When simply walking outside for a few minutes, you can feel the extreme temperatures this week. As the summer of 2024 progresses, New York and its neighboring regions are facing an intense heatwave. 

The Current Heatwave

The Capital Region is currently enduring a multi-day heatwave, with temperatures already reaching the mid-90s. According to a recent article by the Times Union, the heat index could climb to 100 degrees or higher, posing significant health risks (5). This heat index value reflects the ‘feels like’ temperature outside, and takes into account wind, humidity, and more to indicate what it will feel like outside. For example, high humidity and sun can bring this heat index higher, while cloudy, windy days will likely lower this index. 

Currently, the Capital Region is experiencing a heat advisory effecting much of the Northeast, including areas of Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, and Vermont with heat index values of close to 105 degrees possible (7). Albany and the surrounding areas are experiencing some of the highest temps of the area today. Simply walking outside for a few minutes, this scorching weather can be felt. Be sure to stay take some precautions and stay safe in this heatwave.

Map of heat index temperatures for Thursday June 20th 2024 of New York State and surrounding regions.
Projected Heat Index for Thursday, June 20th 2024 - Image Source: The Weather Channel: Relentless Heat Wave Breaking Records in Midwest and East... (2).

Tips to Stay Safe and Cool in this Heat

Governor Kathy Hochul announced the mobilization of statewide resources to help residents cope with the extreme heat. Her recommendations include staying indoors with air conditioning, staying hydrated, and using public cooling centers if necessary (6). The best way to stay safe from this heat wave is to stay out of the heat entirely, however if you must be out in the heat today, be sure to drink plenty of water and take breaks to stay cool. The Governor emphasized that this heatwave could bring historic successive days of extreme heat to the Northeast, with temperatures peaking by Thursday and remaining 5-15 degrees above normal during both day and night. 

In times of extreme heat, it is crucial to follow safety guidelines to avoid heat-related illnesses:
  • Stay indoors with air conditioning, or create cross-ventilation if you don’t have AC. Keep blinds to limit direct sunlight warming indoors.
  • Keep hydrated by drinking plenty of water.
  • Take advantage of public cooling centers, such as libraries and community centers. View a list of public cooling centers in the area here (6).
  • Visit public pools or beaches, or utilize cool showers and baths to stay cool.
  • Limit physical activity, especially during the hottest part of the day -usually around midday.
  • Check on neighbors, friends, and family. Young children, pets, and older individuals can be particularly susceptible to the heat.

Historical Temperature Trends

The current heatwave is part of a broader trend of rising temperatures. The National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) reports that 2024 is on track to be one of the warmest years on record, with a 99% chance it will rank among the top 5 warmest years, and a 55% chance of being the hottest year ever recorded (1). Just last year, much of the Northeast experienced terrible air quality conditions resulting from Canadian wildfires -the outcome of extremely hot and dry conditions. Although wildfires are normal and expected to a certain extent, last summer this greatly exceeded the normal, further depicting the effects of climate change around us.

The Role of Solar Power During Heatwaves

While the primary focus during a heatwave is on immediate safety and staying cool, it’s also worth considering long-term solutions to manage such extreme weather conditions. Solar power, for instance, offers a way to reduce strain on the power grid during peak demand times. Extremely hot and humid temperatures increase power grid usage tremendously as many rely on air conditioning to keep their homes cool during the summer. 

Solar panels can generate more electricity during the summer due to longer daylight hours and more direct sunlight, which can help offset the increased energy demand for cooling systems (4). By going solar this summer, you can start a long-term investment which will help you in years to come! Don’t fret if you aren’t ready to go solar immediately; we install solar at all times of the year -weather permitting of course! Beginning the solar process now can help you start saving sooner.

Have any questions? Get in touch or check out our website to learn more about our solar install process.

Recent solar installation by Kasselman Solar.
Recent Solar Installation
As New York and surrounding areas brace for the challenges of extreme heat, the importance of preparedness and long-term solutions become clear. While immediate measures focus on staying cool and hydrated, investing in renewable energy sources like solar power can help build a more resilient energy infrastructure, better equipped to handle future heatwaves.
Author statement for author, Ava Clemenzi

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