August continued to live up to its sweltering reputation today -- as July was officially blamed for a fourth heat-related death.
The National Weather Service issued a heat advisory for New York City and most of New Jersey until 6 p.m. as high temperatures combined with oppressive humidity could make it feel like 100 degrees outside today.
The city's health department and emergency management office said cooling centers will be open as New Yorkers seek respite from the sticky, sweltering temps, and air conditioned public buildings will be open to visitors during business hours.
As a precaution against the stifling weather, officials urge area residents to drink plenty of fluids, stay in air-conditioned rooms when possible, keep out of the sun and check up on relatives and neighbors.
Fear not, however The sweat won't be rolling down your back by tomorrow. A cold front will move through the region later today, and a cooler and much dryer airmass returns for the end of the week and weekend.
The weather service says temperatures could be above average again this month. Last month, scorching temps nearly set a record for the hottest July in the city in more than a decade with an average temperature of 81.3 degrees but fell short by a mere tenth of a degree.
Despite falling short of the all-time record, the July heat was today blamed for the death of a man in Queens. The City Medical Examiner said the 57-year-old died of combination of hyperthermia (overheating) due to "environmental exposure and cocaine and alcohol intoxication" on July 5. That makes July responsible for four heat-related fatalities.
Meanwhile, the city says more than 228,000 people have visited cooling centers this summer since the first heat wave in June.
To find one near you, call 311 or go to www.nyc.gov/oem.
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