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(Bloomberg) -- Sweltering heat will grip New York and the US Northeast this weekend, with temperatures approaching levels not seen in a decade and an oppressive humidity to make matters worse.
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Temperatures could hit 99 degrees Fahrenheit (37 degrees Celsius) in Manhattan’s Central Park on Sunday -- a record high for that date. New York, Washington and other cities along the Interstate 95 corridor will be getting a taste of record-setting heat that has borne down on Texas, Oklahoma and the central US for weeks.
“The hottest day is going to be Sunday,” said Andrew Orrison, a forecaster at the US Weather Prediction Center. “The hottest temperatures of the summer are coming to the New York City metropolitan area for this weekend.”
Records will likely fall in New York this weekend and some place in the region could actually reach 100 degrees, Orrison said. The last time July readings reached 100 degrees in Central Park was in 2012, according to the weather service website. The highest reading recorded there was 106 on July 9, 1936.
“It is going to be very hot,” Orrison said. “It will be just oppressive conditions all over and it is going to be a challenge for people being outside.”
The National Weather Service recommends people use air conditioning as much as they can to keep the heat at bay and that is sure to send electric use rising with the temperatures.
As millions of homes and businesses crank air conditioners to cope with heat, electricity demand is expected to soar to about 29 gigawatts in New York. That’s under the 31.8 gigawatts of peak summer demand as forecast by the state’s grid operator. A gigawatt is enough to power about 900,000 homes in New York State.The New York Independent System Operator said there’s ample capacity available to supply the grid.
Part of the large high-pressure system that settled over the central US for weeks has migrated east and dug in along the mid-Atlantic and Northeast, bringing the heat with it. Orrison said there is a chance this dome of scorching temperatures will start to spread west at the beginning of next week, raising readings to record levels in Seattle and the Pacific Northwest.
New York temperatures are forecast to reach or exceed 90 through Monday, which would be a seven-day streak since the heat wave started. A cold front should drop into the Northeast early next week, bringing temperatures in New York back to the mid 80s, which is closer to normal for this time of year, according to Orrison.
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