The tri-state is sweating through high humidity and sweltering heat on the first day of summer, as temperatures rise into the 90s, breaking records at the start of a two-day heat wave.
The National Weather Service issued a heat warning for New York City, and an air quality health advisory was also issued.
Temperatures reached 98 degrees at LaGuardia and Newark Airport Wednesday, breaking 1953 records at both airports. Kennedy Airport also broke a record, that one from 1995, with 94 degrees. Central Park saw 94 degrees, but did not break any records.
Emergency management officials called on New Yorkers to stay in air-conditioned places if possible, stay hydrated and check on elderly neighbors.
New York City's 1.1 million public school students are still in session for another week, and just 64 percent of classrooms are air-conditioned.
Students were advised to wear light clothing and drink plenty of water, and schools have been told to limit outdoor playtime, city Education Department spokeswoman Margie Feinberg said.
Underground, temperatures were also unbearable. Subway riders said they dreaded the trek Wednesday.
"It's unbelievable -- it's like hell," said Danielle LeGree, of the Bronx. "Like you're walking downstairs to hell."
In Brooklyn, street vendor James Martin said his family's sixth-floor apartment in Coney Island has no air conditioning and can get really hot. But "we open the front door and all the windows, and we get a nice breeze," he said.
On Tuesday, though, he planned to buy a fan — "maybe two" — on his way home from work.
The New York City Office of Emergency Management said 455 cooling centers were open Wednesday and Thursday. Residents are asked to call 311 or visit www.nyc.gov for locations.
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