The beaches are likely to be packed this weekend, thanks to the cooler coastal temperatures relative to the inland summer-like sizzle.
Much of the region is on track for heat index values that will approach 95 to 100 degrees on Saturday. The National Weather Service office for New York City issued a Heat Advisory for the area -- the first one to be issued in May at least since 2006, if not earlier.
However, it won't be as bad along the coast. High temperatures on Long Island and along the Jersey Shore will hover in the 70s and low 80s both Saturday and Sunday, 10 to 15 degrees cooler than areas away from the water.
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Be careful if you head to the beach, however — and stay out of the water. Water temperatures this early in the year are still very chilly, in the mid 50s, and the cold water poses a serious danger to swimmers.
Water pulls heat from your body very efficiently, so hypothermia can easily set in if you take the plunge. Your muscles can cramp in the cold water, too, which increases your risk of drowning.
Adding to the danger is the fact that lifeguards will very likely not be on duty this weekend.
Bottom line: If you’re going to the beach, have a great time and stay safe. Relax and play on the sand all day long, but stay out of the water!