New York Faces Intense Heatwave: Is This The New Norm?

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In a surprising turn, New York City's usual hints of fall in September have been replaced by a sweltering three-day heatwave, with temperatures soaring 20 degrees higher than the average 70s. The heatwave has transformed the back-to-school season into an extended summer, leading parents to express concern. 

Schools have been advised to limit outdoor activities between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m., shifting strenuous activities indoors. The temperature surge isn't exclusive to NYC; schools across the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast have been adjusting schedules due to the unexpected heat. Connecticut, for instance, saw early school releases with Governor Ned Lamont invoking the state’s extreme heat protocol.

Dr. Christopher Tranberg, superintendent in Branford, Conn., highlighted the challenge of such temperatures in schools, especially at the start of the semester. Recent research indicates a direct correlation between the rise in hot school days and decreased learning rates, with a deeper impact on socio-economic lines.

Gavin A. Schmidt from NASA emphasized the role of climate change in escalating heat waves, suggesting that until greenhouse gas emissions halt, such temperature surges will become the new norm. Rohit T. Aggarwala, NYC’s chief climate officer, echoed this, stating that hotter Septembers might soon be standard.

NYC, with its heat-trapping materials, is particularly vulnerable during heat waves. The city's officials urge residents to use Notify NYC, the city's official emergency notification system, for updates and to follow guidelines to stay cool and hydrated. As the climate changes, preparations for extreme heat will become increasingly crucial.

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