As East Coasters prepare for fireworks and barbecues, they should also prepare for some brutal heat.
The weekend leading into July Fourth will see high temperatures and humidity as a heat wave rolls in from the Midwest. Meteorologists are predicting temperatures throughout the Northeast to reach the low to mid-90s, peaking on Sunday.
According to David Stark, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service’s New York office, these heat waves— defined as at least three consecutive days of temperatures in the 90s — are not uncommon during the summer.
“The thing with this one that makes it little more concerning is increased humidity, especially on Sunday,” Stark told NBC News. “In increased humidity, your body won’t be able to cool itself down as much because of the moisture.”
While several places throughout the Northeast may see close to record-breaking temperatures in the mid-90s, it is not guaranteed that records will actually be broken, Stark said. But due to the combination of heat and humidity, temperatures may feel as hot as 100 degrees throughout the heat wave.
According to Stark, there is a large area of high pressure typically seen in the summertime gathering heat over the Midwest, which will begin making its way east and will settle over the Northeast this weekend.
Dehydration and heat exhaustion are the biggest risks for those planning to spend time outdoors this weekend. Stark noted that drinking water, wearing sunglasses and sunscreen, and minimizing direct exposure to the sun are reliable preventive measures.
He also emphasized that the insides of cars heat up very quickly, and said people should make sure not to leave children or pets inside.