A heat advisory takes effect late Thursday morning for the eastern half of the state, and the Springfield area, with temperatures expected in the upper 90s along with high humidity. The National Weather service says that could push the heat index over 100.
"Heat indices up to 103 degrees will result in dangerous conditions for those spending prolonged periods of time outside," the weather service said in its advisory, which lasts from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday.
Public officials are reminding residents to stay out of the heat as much as possible and remain hydrated. (See below for additional beat-the-heat tips.)
"In these conditions we must remember to stay cool and hydrated and keep an eye on our vulnerable neighbors," Boston Mayor Thomas Menino said as he issued a city heat advisory.
“Those at greatest risk for developing a heat-related illness are children under five years of age and people 65 years of age and older, who have the least ability to regulate their body temperatures,” Dr. Joseph Schmidt, of Baystate Medical Center, told the Springfield Republican in a release.
Boston (see PDF here) and Worcester are among several Massachusetts cities that have opened cooling centers. The City of Boston's website also lists parks with water spray features and open state pools.
On Wednesday, no records were broken in Massachusetts but the Springfield area had afternoon highs of 97, while Boston and some suburbs had 96 degrees.
According to WBZ-TV meteorologist Terry Eliasen, Thursday could be Boston's first 100-degree day in June since 1952.
Cooler weather is expected along with some storms on Friday.
Update at 6/20 3:45 p.m.: The largest electric company in Massachusetts told our Newscast unit it is ready for extra energy usage as people turn on air conditioners to fight the heat.
"This type of weather does push the electric systems to the limit, though," said NStar spokesman Mike Durand. "So all necessary workers are on hand to monitor use and respond to any scattered outages that may occur."
Never leave children or pets alone in enclosed vehicles.
Eat small meals and eat more often.
Avoid extreme temperature changes.
Wear loose-fitting, lightweight, light-colored clothing.
Slow down, stay indoors and avoid strenuous exercise during the hottest part of the day.
Use a buddy system when working in excessive heat.
Take frequent breaks if working outdoors.
Check on family, friends and neighbors who do not have air conditioning, who spend much of their time alone or who are more likely to be affected by the heat.
Check on animals frequently to ensure that they are not suffering from the heat. Ensure they have water and a shady place to rest.
This article was originally published on June 20, 2012.
This program aired on June 20, 2012. The audio for this program is not available.