Temps boiled up to the 90s around the Tri-State and reached 100 degrees in New Jersey on Thursday.
One hundred-degree readings were recorded just before 2 p.m. at Newark Liberty International Airport and Atlantic City International Airport in Pomona.
People were urged to stay where it's cool, drink lots of water and check on elderly relatives and neighbors.
Five elementary school children were taken to a hospital on Long Island Thursday afternoon after they were overcome by heat while practicing for a performance inside an auditorium that was not air-conditioned, officials said. Seven others were treated at the scene.
Their conditions were not immediately known. A fire official said the temperature in the school auditorium was over 100 degrees. School officials disputed that and said it was about 80 degrees.
Hospitals in New Jersey reported treating numerous patients with heat-related illnesses. Among them was a 93-year-old man who was in critical condition at St. Joseph's Hospital in Paterson with heat stroke.
A cold front is expected to slide south later Thursday, producing showers and a few strong thunderstorms.
The cold front will bring a change to the pattern, with temperatures cooling into the 80s tomorrow and the 70s by the weekend. Highs may barely make it back to the mid 70s.
Some shower activity is expected with the cooler temperatures, however. Both Saturday and Sunday run the risk of scattered showers, but the rain is likely to be more frequent on Saturday.
Some fine June weather returns early next week with sunshine, low humidity and temperatures in the 70s to near 80.
That news is no doubt a welcome respite for those who suffered and sweated through the last two days.
It was so hot in New York City on Wednesday, even frozen treat peddler Edgar Alberto Dossman was complaining about the heat. The street vendor said people were foregoing his ice cream and Italian ices, instead choosing liquids.
"When there are days so supremely hot like today, people prefer liquid because the sweetness makes you more thirsty," the 75-year-old who hocks his icy goods on Roosevelt Avenue in the Jackson Heights section of Queens, said Wednesday.
The National Weather Service said it was about 92 degrees in Central Park on Wednesday afternoon. But it felt a few degrees warmer with the humidity. The weather service has issued a heat advisory until 8 p.m. Thursday.
In addition, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has issued an air quality health advisory for the five boroughs and Long Island, as well as Rockland and Rochester counties from 2 p.m. until 11 p.m.
The New York City Office of Emergency Management and the Department of Health continue to warn New Yorkers to take precautions in the heat.
Cooling centers are open in all five boroughs. New Yorkers can call 311 or visit the city's online Cooling Center Finder byclicking here to find the nearest center.
Jersey City and Union City in New Jersey were also establishing cooling centers.
Some New Jersey schools scheduled early dismissals on Thursday.