Summer's 1st Heat Wave Expected, Air Quality Concerns Arise

Connecticut is on target for our first heat wave of the summer and state officials are warning of the possibility of poor air quality.

Temperatures climbed to 93 degrees at Bradley Airport on Tuesday, and the heat will linger into Wednesday, Thursday and possibly through the weekend as well.

Chief Meteorologist Brad Field said Meriden recorded the highest temperatures in the state Tuesday, at 94 degrees. Wednesday will likely be about 2 degrees hotter.

Several towns and cities are opening cooling centers in anticipation of what could be our first heat wave of 2015.

Ozone pollution is expected in southern sections of Fairfield and New Haven counties on Tuesday, and all of Fairfield, New Haven, Middlesex and New London Counties on Wednesday.

The state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection is warning of unhealthy air quality that could make breathing difficult for "sensitive groups," including elderly residents and children and adults with respiratory illnesses. Affected individuals could also experience coughing and throat irritation.

State officials recommend taking the following measures when air pollution levels are high:

  • Conserving electricity by setting air conditioners to 78 degrees
  • "Wait 'til 8" to use energy intensive appliances like washing machines, dryers and dishwashers
  • Driving less by carpooling or using public transit
  • Telecommute if possible
  • Refuel your vehicle after dusk and never idle a vehicle unnecessarily.

"Forecasters are predicting the hottest weather of the summer yet, so everyone should take simple precautions when high temperatures combined with poor air quality is expected," DEEP Commissioner Rob Klee said in a statement Tuesday. "If you are outside at work or at play, be sure to drink plenty of water and get to an air conditioned room if you need to cool down and catch your breath."

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