NYC is experiencing a late-season heat wave, but bearable weather is on the way

It took until September, but New York City’s first official heat wave is upon us and the hot weather will continue for at least a few more days.

The mercury reached 93 degrees in Central Park on Thursday, after readings of 93 and 92 degrees on Wednesday and Tuesday – marking the official heat wave threshold of three consecutive days above 90 degrees, something that occurred during the city’s last hot stretch in July was not achieved.

However, according to Fox Weather Center meteorologist Samantha Thomas, the Big Apple has experienced heat before, with temperatures hovering in the high 80s until last weekend.

“As far as the heat and people feeling hot, it’s been several days now,” Thomas said.

“Obviously it felt a lot hotter the last few days, and even over the weekend the humidity made it feel like it was in the 90s every day,” she explained.

“We technically had to wait until today because of the formality of an official heat wave, but does anyone, you know, really feel the difference between 89 and 90 when you’re out and about? Not really. Hot is hot!”

The heat wave was unseasonable for a transitional month in which the city historically saw only one day above 90°, although there were eight muggy September days in the summer of 1961.

A construction worker is pictured
New Yorkers are battling the first official heat wave of 2023.
Gregory P. Mango

    The bear pictured is cooling down
The weather was “unbearable,” forecasters say. Just ask this Bronx Zoo resident.
Robert Miller

Tigers lounging in the shade and near water
His neighbor agrees that the first heat wave to hit New York in 2023 is no time to act.
Robert Miller

“We’ve seen a few more than one in the last five years, but on average it should only be one,” Thomas said.

It’s often sweater weather at the annual US Open in Flushing, but this time bare-chested, ice packs and portable fans were the norm around Arthur Ashe Stadium.

Former tournament winner Daniil Medvedev of Russia even went so far as to say on camera on the pitch that “you can’t imagine the heat” and warned: “A player will die.”

The heat wave will technically end Friday, but its mood will linger, Thomas said, warning: “It’s still going to feel like the 90s.”

Pictured is a teenager cooling off
Haakun, 18, a visitor from Belgium, cools off under a faucet on the East River Walkway at Pier 15.
William Farington

A child is pictured running through a fountain in Battery Park in Manhattan on Wednesday.
A girl runs through a cool fountain in Battery Park in Manhattan on Wednesday.
Getty Images

On Friday evening, sporadic rain caused slight cooling.

“We have a better chance of some rain tomorrow. That also helps break up some of the heat because we have a cold front coming our way,” Thomas explained.

“It’s not a massive drop in temperature… we’re only going down a few degrees, but it will still help it dry out a little bit, it won’t be quite as humid,” the meteorologist said.

“Once the weekend starts, Saturday, Sunday, we’ll be looking at low to mid 80s,” the forecaster said, adding that it would be “a little more tolerable.”

“Still above average, normally we should be there [a high of ] 79, but it’s not quite as hot.”

Pictured is a woman sitting nearby with a water bottle
Fear not, relief is on the way, forecasters say. In the meantime, stay hydrated.
Paul Martinka

Fans of more traditional late summer weather will be in luck during the work week, according to Thomas.

“By next week, it looks like we’re actually going to get to where we should be this year, which is in the upper 70s, maybe a little lower.

“We got down to 75 on Thursday, so next week we’re getting closer to more typical temperatures for the second week of September.”


JACLYN DIAZ is a USTimeToday U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. JACLYN DIAZ joined USTimeToday in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing

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