PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Students across Southern New England may be heading back to school this week but fall is not in the air, as the oppressive heat and humidity that’s plagued the area for much of the summer sticks around.
In fact, near-record high temperatures are expected Tuesday and Wednesday, with heat index values (feel-like temperatures) in the upper 90’s to low 100’s.
A number of school districts including East Greenwich, Attleboro and Taunton have announced plans to let students out early on Wednesday due to the muggy conditions while other districts are canceling after-school activities.
A Heat Advisory for Rhode Island and parts of southeastern Massachusetts remains in effect until 9 p.m. Wednesday while eastern Massachusetts is under an Excessive Heat Watch.
Today and tomorrow will be some of the hottest days of the summer with inland temperatures in the mid 90s. High humidity will make it feel even hotter. https://t.co/OQTcPAO8Jt— Michelle Muscatello (@michmuscatello) August 28, 2018
With the current forecast for the next 4 days, this month will almost certainly finish as the warmest August on record for Providence. Through the 27th, we are just 0.1° off from numero uno. pic.twitter.com/XZrRKhEIaf— T.J. Del Santo ⚡🔭 (@tjdelsanto) August 28, 2018
In addition, the R.I. Department of Environmental Management (DEM) has issued an Air Quality Alert for the second straight day, anticipating that the extreme heat on Wednesday will combine with elevated ground-level ozone concentrations to create unhealthy air quality.
The DEM recommends limiting strenuous outdoor activity and exercise, and staying in an air-conditioned environment if possible.
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Unhealthy levels of ozone can cause a number of adverse health effects, especially in children, the elderly, and those with respiratory ailments.
Residents can help reduce air pollutant emissions by limiting car travel and the use of charcoal lighter fuels and small engines such as lawn mowers, according to the DEM.