NYC heat wave: How to beat the heat in Brooklyn this week

New York City sunlight shining on the Williamsburg Bridge in Brooklyn NYC
Temperatures are predicted to reach as high as 95 degrees Fahrenheit by Wednesday, June 19, and could climb as high as 101 degrees Fahrenheit throughout the next few days.
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New York City is gearing up for a significant heat wave this week, with temperatures set to peak at a sweltering highs Thursday and Friday. City officials have already activated emergency measures to ensure the safety and well-being of residents as the city braces for the “extreme heat weather event.”

Temperatures are predicted to reach as high as 95 degrees Fahrenheit by Wednesday, June 19, and could climb as high as 101 degrees Fahrenheit throughout the next few days. New York City defines extreme heat events as periods when the heat index is 100 degrees Fahrenheit or higher for one or more days, or 95 degrees Fahrenheit or higher for two or more consecutive days.

The heat wave coincides with the official start of summer, which arrives in the city on Thursday, June 20.

The National Weather Service is expected to issue a heat advisory — something Mayor Eric Adams said at a Monday morning news briefing that the Big Apple is prepared for.

“The first heat wave of the season is here,” Adams declared as he announced the opening of city cooling centers starting Tuesday. “We’re ready.”

In the meantime, city officials  and health experts are urging residents to take necessary precautions like preserving energy and limiting time outdoors during these extreme conditions. Here are some ways to beat the heat this week in Brooklyn:

Visit cooling centers

Cooling centers are free, public air conditioned community spaces to provide some relief to New Yorkers on days where a heat advisory is in place. 

According to the National Weather Service, seniors are at the highest risk for heat-related illness or death as many have a diminished ability to sweat, leading to rapid overheating. Infants, young children, pregnant people and people with chronic illness are also considered particularly vulnerable to extreme heat.

This year, the city also launched a newly revamped Cool Options Map that allows New Yorkers to easily locate cooling centers throughout the Five Boroughs as well as other non cooling-center options, such as libraries, malls and museums, that offer air-conditioned spaces. A citywide map of outdoor cooling options (including spray showers, drinking fountains, and more) can be found online at Cool It! NYC.

sunset park pool cooling center
Some public pools, like the Sunset Park Pool, stay open late as New Yorkers battle high temperatures.File photo by Jordan Rathkopf

The Department of Social Services issues a Code Red Alert during times of extreme heat, meaning anyone experiencing homelessness is able to receive shelter if they need it — or can otherwise access designated cooling areas. 

Centers include the Brooklyn Museum, local libraries, senior centers and even businesses. Find a list of Brooklyn cooling centers here. Find a list of free outdoor pools (often open late during heat waves) here.

Stay hydrated

This one feels self-explanatory, but it’s easy to fall victim to dehydration when temperatures soar.

Staying hydrated when it’s super hot outside is critical to avoiding issues like heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Drinking plenty of water throughout the day is key, even if you’re not feeling thirsty yet, since thirst can be a late sign you’re already dehydrated. It’s also a good idea to sip on drinks with electrolytes, like sports drinks or coconut water, to replace the salts you lose when you sweat. Eating juicy fruits and veggies, taking breaks in the shade or indoors, and cutting back on caffeine and alcohol, which can dry you out, are also great ways to stay hydrated and healthy during those scorching days.

Also, avoid alcohol and caffeinated beverages as they can dehydrate you.

Stay in if you can — and seek cover if you can’t

Try to stay indoors during peak heat hours — typically between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. — on hot, hot days. If you must go outside, be sure to take frequent breaks in the shade, and lather up on that sunscreen.

Related: We’ve broken down the need-to-know information about Brooklyn’s beaches in Brooklyn Paper’s first Beach Vibe Guide

Be a good neighbor

In times of extreme heat, ensure that elderly neighbors, young children, and those with medical conditions are staying cool and have access to air-conditioned spaces. Little things like offering them a cold drink, making sure they have fans or AC, and reminding them to take it easy can make a big difference. And don’t forget about your furry friends!

“The first heat wave of the season is here, and New York City has a plan to beat the heat — but we want all New Yorkers to have a plan as well,” Adams said Monday. “A heat wave can be more than just uncomfortable, it can be deadly and life threatening if you are not prepared. I encourage all New Yorkers to have a plan to beat the heat and make sure to check in on your neighbors, especially your older adult neighbors, to drink water, and to keep pets hydrated.”

As Brooklyn braces for an intense heat wave, following these tips can help ensure everyone stays safe and comfortable. For more information on how to stay cool and safe during days of extreme heat, visit NYC.gov/health or NYC.gov/beattheheat.