Tri-State Swelters for Sixth Day After Ferocious Storms Pummel Tri-State

Despite the rainstorm, a drought watch has been issued for a dozen counties in New Jersey as the blazing heat continues

What to Know

  • Queens and parts of New Jersey experienced six days of 90-degree weather — the longest heat wave since 2013
  • The hot weather continues early this week until a cool down begins on Wednesday. Temps in the upper 80s will continue through the weekend
  • The storm threat returns Thursday and lingers through the weekend

Stifling heat returned to the tri-state on Tuesday, marking the sixth day of a hot stretch that has seen 100-degree "feels-like" temperatures and violent thunderstorms, Storm Team 4 says. 

Temperatures hit 90 degrees at John F. Kennedy International Airport and 91 degrees in Newark by early afternoon, though it was much less humid than it was Monday. Much of the rest of the tri-state saw temperatures in the low 90s.

The sixth consecutive scorcher comes a day after violent thunderstorms drenched parts of New York City, dumping barrels of rain in minutes.

The systems moving in from the west Monday brought damaging winds, pummeling rains, intense lightning and small hail in spots.

Thunderstorms knocked out power to more than 8,000 customers, Con Edison said. Half of those outages were on Staten Island. More than 2,000 customers in Queens and 1,400 in Brooklyn lost power. Crews worked overnight and most of the power had been restored to New York City residents by Tuesday morning, although some 270 or so customers were still in the dark in Brooklyn. 

PSE&G said that 4,500 of its customers were still without power Tuesday morning — most of them in South Jersey. 

Arriving flights at La Guardia, John F. Kennedy and Newark International airports were being delayed as long as three hours.

The foul weather frustrated evening rush-hour commuters who depend on the Long Island Rail Road. At one point, transit police closed access to Penn Station because all service between the station and Atlantic Terminal and Jamaica was suspended.

Flooding halted traffic on several area roads. Flash flooding was reported in Jersey City and Hoboken, New Jersey. At least 15 manhole covers became dislodged by the flood waters in Hoboken and the city warned residents against walking or driving in areas where the street isn't visible.

There was also flooding on Staten Island. Jenna Derleth was in the middle of moving when the storms hit. Ironically, the New Dorp home she sold to avoid flooding was inundated with water during the downpour. 

"The sewer backup here is insane, so that's the main problem here. Right away when the water comes, it's in our garages," Derleth said. 

A microburst, a powerful downdraft that can occur during a thunderstorm, touched down in Branchburg, New Jersey, and snapped at least seven utility poles in that Somerset County town, authorities said. Power outages were reported and utility crews were assessing the damage.

On the Upper East Side, one Instagram user posted video of the pop-up storm, calling it the "craziest 5 minute storm I've ever been caught in!"

Prior to Monday's stormy weather, the heat-weary region roasted as temperatures crossed the 90-degree mark for the fifth straight day, though the intense humidity made for a sweat-inducing heat index above 100 degrees in the city and parts of New Jersey.

NBC 4 New York used an infrared thermometer to assess the real-time feel of objects in and around Central Park: a bench clocked in at 134 degrees, swings hit 126 degrees and a railing approached 110 degrees.

In New Jersey, the state Department of Environmental Protection issued a drought watch for most of the northern part of the state, urging residents and water companies in 12 counties to voluntarily conserve water and telling the rest of the state to practice wise water use because of the sustained above-average temperatures.

The heat and relatively sparse rain over the last few months have combined to decrease reservoir, ground water and streamflow levels, authorities say, which has prompted the drought watch. Some residents in Sayreville, one of the towns affected by the watch, got a jump on drought precautions Monday.

Bergen, Essex, Hunterdon, Hudson, Mercer, Middlesex, Morris, Passaic, Somerset, Sussex, Union and Warren counties are affected by the drought watch. Water conservation tips include limiting watering lawns to twice a week for 30 minutes in the morning or late evening, using brooms to sweep sidewalks instead of hoses and turning off faucets while brushing teeth.

Highs will drop to about 92 degrees on Wednesday. The high will be about 91 degrees on Thursday. 

A cool-down will finally be felt this weekend, when highs will be in the mid to upper 80s — welcomed temperatures for people, pets and air conditioners.

But the heat isn't done. Temperatures are set to tick upwards again to the high 90s by next Tuesday and Wednesday.

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