Massachusetts

Boston Heat Emergency Extended Ahead of Scorching Weekend Across the Region

Temperatures could top 100 degrees in some areas this weekend

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As New England's heat wave drags on, temperatures are likely to soar well into the 90s, and possibly past 100 degrees in some areas across the region this weekend.

Thursday was the third consecutive day of temperatures into the 90s, making this hot stretch an official heat wave.

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Boston Mayor Michelle Wu has extended the city's heat emergency through Sunday, after originally declaring it for Tuesday through Thursday earlier in the week.

That extension means resources will continue to be available to help people in the city manage the heat. Cooling centers will remain open at 12 Boston Centers for Youth and Family locations. That's in addition to more than 50 splash pads at parks and playgrounds.

In the city's Charlestown neighborhood, residents are growing more frustrated by a lack of options to cool down. The 73-year-old Clougherty Pool has not opened this summer due to safety concerns.

A sprinkler at Doherty Park, where the pool is located, had issues all summer until the city fixed it Thursday.

As temperatures have climbed, so have emergency calls in Boston.

Boston Emergency Medical Services said it has received more than 30 calls for help since Tuesday directly related to the heat.

More information on Boston's heat emergency, including the list of cooling centers and where the city's splash pads are, can be found at boston.gov/heat.

For those who plan to hit the beach this weekend, one option is to head to Revere. The Revere Beach International Sand Sculpting Festival -- one of the largest sand sculpting festivals in the world -- kicks off Friday morning and runs through Sunday.

Meanwhile, the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs has declared a Level 3 critical drought in the northeast and central regions of the state. People are asked to minimize water use and stop all non-essential outdoor watering in those areas.

Some in the area are concerned about the environmental impact the weather is having.

"It’s pretty intense," Nancy Lockhart of Cambridge said. "I feel more badly for a lot of the biota, the plants and animals in the area that are not adapted to it. So they’re really suffering right now."

As for people, experts say it's important to stay hydrated. Common symptoms of dehydration include feeling thirsty, tired, light headed and not being able to urinate, according to the Cleveland Clinic. People are also more susceptible to muscle cramps in the abdomen and legs in this heat, which can be mitigated with proper hydration. There are also signs of more severe heat related illnesses to watch out for, like heat stroke and heat exhaustion.

Resources will continue to be made available in the city to help people manage the heat.

Symptoms of Heat Stroke

Heat stroke poses the most serious health risk and, in extreme cases, can be deadly. Symptoms include extremely high body temperature, hot and red skin, loss of consciousness, changes in level of responsiveness, a rapid or weak heartbeat, rapid and shallow breathing, vomiting, confusion, and/or seizures, according to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. People experiencing these symptoms should seek immediate medical attention, experts say.

Symptoms of Heat Exhaustion

Heat exhaustion commonly occurs when people overexert themselves in a warm, humid place and lose a lot of body fluids through sweat and blood flow to the skin. This can cause blood flow to vital organs to decrease and results in a form of mild shock.

Symptoms of heat exhaustion include cool, moist, pale or flushed skin, nausea, dizziness, headache, weakness, and/or exhaustion, according to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. People experiencing these symptoms should drink water with electrolytes slowly, rest in a cool place, remove or loosen tight clothing and apply cool, wet cloths. If conditions worsen, seek immediate medical attention.

Young children are most susceptible to dehydration because they cannot ask for fluids, so it is important to remind them to drink water as well, according to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. For those who don't have air conditioning, state health officials say to stay on your lowest floor, out of the sun, use fans and avoid using your stove and oven. Consider heading to air-conditioned public buildings and cooling locations.

This weekend is forecast to be a scorcher in New England. Temperatures could hit 100 degrees in some areas. It’s not out of the question that some spots hit 102-103 for a high Sunday.

Humidity will also be on the rise, so when we say "dangerously hot," we are underscoring it. Take it slow and easy, drink plenty of liquids and think about Tuesday -- that’s the day we’ll drop back to the 80s as this chapter of hot weather draws to a close.

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