Temperatures soar to mid 90s in Ithaca this week

July 6, 2010

SPLASH!SPLASH!As a record heat wave grips the entire eastern seaboard, temperatures in Ithaca are expected to peak in the mid 90s each of the next few days. Nighttime lows in the high 60s mean it will be tough to cool down without air conditioning.

Keeping the home cool includes keeping window shades or blinds drawn to keep sunlight out, keeping windows closed when it's hotter outside than in, and using appliances that generate heat as little as possible. If air conditioning is available, try not to set the temperature lower than 78 or so, to avoid overtaxing the NYSEG grid, and of course high electric bills.

Keeping yourself cool should start with lots of liquids, especially non-caffeinated and non-sugared drinks. Water's a good start. Holding a cool drink against the inside of your wrist helps to spread the cool. Upper floors get warmer than lower floors, so a finished basement is likely to stay cool as heat rises. Take warm, or even cool, showers, rather than hot showers. Use the kiddie pool. (You may have to share with the kids.)

Spend some time in air conditioning, whether it's at your workplace or a public space such as the library, a movie theater, the mall, or a supermarket. Swimming in cool water can help fast, but be cautious of the Ithaca area's many "unofficial" swimming spots. Wade in a creek whose trails are open, or swim at an open park or pool.

If you have elderly or disabled neighbors, please take a moment to check on them and make sure they're not overheating. A ride to an air-conditioned store could be much appreciated.

When the outside temperature drops below the inside temperature at night, open the shades and windows and turn on some fans to get the air flowing.

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