NEW YORK (BLOOMBERG) - Sweltering heat will grip New York and the US north-east this weekend, with temperatures approaching levels not seen in a decade and an oppressive humidity to make matters worse.
Temperatures could hit 37 deg C in Manhattan's Central Park on Sunday (July 24) - a record high for that date. New York, Washington and other cities along the Interstate 95 corridor will be getting a taste of the record-setting heat that has borne down on Texas, Oklahoma and the central United States for weeks.
"The hottest day is going to be Sunday," said Mr Andrew Orrison, a forecaster at the US Weather Prediction Centre.
"The hottest temperatures of the summer are coming to the New York City metropolitan area for this weekend."
Records will likely fall in New York this weekend and some place in the region could actually reach 37.8 deg C, Mr Orrison said.
The last time July readings reached 37.8 deg C in Central Park was in 2012, according to the weather service website. The highest reading recorded there was 41 deg C on July 9, 1936.
"It is going to be very hot," Mr Orrison said. "It will be just oppressive conditions all over and it is going to be a challenge for people being outside."
The National Weather Service recommends that people use air-conditioning as much as they can to keep the heat at bay and that is sure to send electric use rising with the temperatures.
As millions of homes and businesses crank up air-conditioners to cope with the heat, electricity demand is expected to soar to about 29 gigawatts in New York. This is under the 31.8 gigawatts of peak summer demand as forecast by the state's grid operator.
A gigawatt is enough to power about 900,000 homes in New York state. The New York Independent System Operator said there is ample capacity available to supply the grid.
Part of the large high-pressure system that settled over the central US for weeks has migrated east and dug in along the mid-Atlantic and north-east, bringing the heat with it.
Mr Orrison said there is a chance this dome of scorching temperatures will start to spread west at the beginning of next week, raising readings to record levels in Seattle and the Pacific Northwest.
New York temperatures are forecast to reach or exceed 32 deg C until Monday, which would be a seven-day streak since the heat wave started. A cold front should drop into the north-east early next week, bringing temperatures in New York back to the mid-30s deg C, which is closer to normal for this time of the year, according to Mr Orrison.