The National Weather Service says the combination of hot temperatures and high humidity today will produce a dangerously high heat index, according to a statement from the agency. It has issued a heat advisory until 6 a.m. Monday throughout the Triad.
It could feel as hot as 105 degrees today, with temperatures in the mid-90s and dewpoints in the lower 70s, according to the statement. The hottest times will be from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and exertion while outdoors or extended exposure may cause heat stress.
And don't look for a break as the sun goes down. The NWS says cooling "will be limited." Lows tonight are expected in to be 73 to 74 degrees in the Triad.
The agency advises people to drink plenty of fluids, stay in an air-conditioned room, stay out of the sun and to check on the relatives and neighbors who may be struggling in the hot weather. The risks are greater for young children, the elderly and the sick.
The heat index is expected to be around 100 degrees on Monday, with highs 92 to 93 degrees. There's a chance for thunderstorms in the afternoon.
Tuesday, however, should bring a break from the hot temperatures. Highs are expected in the upper 70s and thunderstorms are likely.
The heat wave extends up the East Coast, from the Carolinas to Maine.
The heat wave has canceled events across the affected region, including in New York City, where authorities scrubbed a Times Square commemoration of the 1969 moon landing and an outdoor festival featuring soccer star Megan Rapinoe and musician John Legend.
To reduce strain on the electrical grid, New York City also directed office buildings to set thermostats no lower than 78 degrees through Sunday.
Hot weather tips
The American Red Cross offers the following hot-weather tips:
• Never leave children or pets in your vehicle. The inside temperature of the car can quickly reach 120 degrees.
• Drink plenty of fluids and avoid drinks with caffeine or alcohol.
• Avoid extreme temperature changes.
• Wear loose-fitting, lightweight, light-colored clothing. Avoid dark colors, they absorb the sun’s rays.
• Slow down and stay indoors. Avoid strenuous exercise during the hottest part of the day.
• Postpone outdoor games and activities.
• Use a buddy system when working in excessive heat. Take frequent breaks if working outdoors.
• If you don’t have air conditioning, go to public spaces for relief from the heat during the warmest part of the day.
Heat exhaustion or heat stroke
Excessive heat can lead to sunburn, heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke. If someone is experiencing heat cramps in the legs or abdomen, get them to a cooler place, have them rest, lightly stretch the affected muscle, and replenish their fluids with a half a glass (about 4 ounces) of cool water every 15 minutes.
If someone is exhibiting signs of heat exhaustion (cool, moist, pale or flushed skin, heavy sweating, headache, nausea, dizziness, weakness exhaustion), move them to a cooler place, remove or loosen tight clothing and spray the person with water or apply cool, wet cloths or towels to the skin. Fan the person. If they are conscious, give small amounts of cool water to drink. Make sure the person drinks slowly. Watch for changes in condition. If the person refuses water, vomits or begins to lose consciousness, call 911.
Heat stroke is life-threatening. Signs include hot, red skin which may be dry or moist; changes in consciousness; vomiting and high body temperature. Call 911 immediately if someone shows signs of heat stroke. Move the person to a cooler place. Quickly cool the person’s body by immersing them up to their neck in cold water if possible. Otherwise, douse or spray the person with cold water, or cover the person with cold, wet towels or bags of ice.
Don't forget your pets
Animals can suffer heat stroke, so check on them frequently to ensure that they are not suffering from the heat. Make sure they have plenty of shade and cool water. Some of the signs of heat stroke in your pet are:
• Heavy panting and unable to calm down, even when lying down.
• Brick red gum color.
• Fast pulse rate.
• Unable to get up.
• If you suspect your pet has heat stroke, take their temperature rectally. If the temperature is above 105 degrees, cool the animal down. The easiest way to do this is by using the water hose. Stop cooling the animal when the temperature reaches 103 degrees.
• Bring your pet to a veterinarian as soon as possible, heat stroke can lead to severe organ damage.
The Red Cross offers a cat and dog first aid online course for $25. This course provides step-by-step instructions for what to do if a pet is choking, has a wound, needs CPR or other care (redcross.org/catdogfirstaid).
The Associated Press contributed to this report.