How to stay safe as a heat wave scorches the state

BY Briana Vannozzi, Senior Correspondent |

It’s mid-July. The mercury is up, the air is thick and the sun is baking everything it hits.

New Jersey and most of the Northeast is in the midst of a heatwave. According to the National Weather Service, heat indexes are in the mid-to-upper 90s. Temperatures in some parts of the state will climb as high as 100 degrees by Saturday afternoon.

Meteorologists say there’s a newer trend when we get a summer scorcher like this.

“The bigger change we’ve seen over the last 20 to 30 years is the amount of moisture. It’s just more humid in the summer time than it used to be,” said meteorologist Gary Szatkowski.

He says that kicks the heat index into high gear making it harder to cope. Health experts remind everyone they should stay hydrated — alcohol is a no-go. Experts also recommend staying indoors during peak hours, and when going outside staying covered with loose, light clothing and sunscreen. Also, check on neighbors and pets.

Certain populations, like the very young and old are at risk. Those taking medications should consult with a doctor before stepping into the sun.

Cooling centers are open around the state, so are public pools and recreation sites. If you think the week has been tough so far, temperatures are only expected to get worse as the week continues.