In addition to the heat, the Northeast could get swept by thunderstorms later on Thursday, just in time for the afternoon commute, said Scott Kaplan, a meteorologist with Hometown Forecast Services, which provides forecasts for Bloomberg Radio.
“It was 93 in Central Park on July 5 and we should at least top that for the next three days,” Kaplan said.
Sweltering conditions stretch coast to coast, with about 170 million people under excessive heat warnings and advisories. High temperatures tax power grids as people turn to air conditioning to beat the heat. They can also slow transportation, causing problems for aircraft and as railroads impose speed restrictions.
Overnight, PJM Interconnection LLC, the largest U.S. grid, declared a level one emergency for its 13-state system in the east of the country, signaling it’s concerned about being able to maintain adequate power reserves on July 27 as consumers and businesses turn up their air conditioners. The California Independent System operator also issued a warning of a potential power supply shortfall for Wednesday evening. And Consolidated Edison Inc., which supplies power to New York, Parts of New Jersey and Pennsylvania, expects to see demand hit a 2023 high Thursday, spokesman Allan Drury said.
The South has sweltered under the worst heat so far this summer, with a massive high-pressure system baking the area from Southern California to Florida for weeks.
The focus of the worst heat has shifted into the central U.S. from the Great Plains to Midwest. For the Northeast, it’s a combination of that high pressure system and a second in the Atlantic called the Bermuda High that’s pumping high temperatures into the Interstate-95 corridor.