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Heat advisory remains in place for all of Western New York

 An air conditioning unit
Carlos Lindner
Cooling centers are open across the region to help New Yorkers beat the heat.

A heat advisory remains in effect for all of Western New York through 8.p.m. Thursday.

The National Weather Service Buffalo issued the advisory and forecast a heat index value of up to 104F during the extreme heat event.

On Tuesday New York State Governor Kathy Hochul activated the state's Emergency Operations Center announced that cooling centers are open across the state.

“Heat like this can be dangerous – New Yorkers should take every precaution to stay cool this week,” Hochul said during remarks on Friday. “Stay hydrated, avoid excessive outdoor activity and, if needed, visit a cooling center near you.”

The record high temperature reported in Buffalo was 99 degrees in 1948, according to the National Weather Service.

A map of cooling centers statewide can be found here.

Buffalo opens cooling centers, extends splash pad hours

On Tuesday, Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown announced cooling centers will be open in the city for the duration of the hot-weather event, and the city's ten splash pads are operating with extended hours from 11 a.m. through 8.p.m. daily.

“We don’t want residents to take it lightly,” Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown said at a press conference. “People could become overheated, they could get sick, or worse.”

A list of the city's cooling centers hours and locations can be found in the infographic below.

A list of cooling centers open from June 17 provided by the City of Buffalo
City of Buffalo
A list of cooling centers open from June 17 provided by the City of Buffalo
The city's ten splash pads will operate with extended ours starting June 17 according to the City of Buffalo
City of Buffalo
The city's ten splash pads will operate with extended ours starting June 17 according to the City of Buffalo

BPS implements early dismissal

Buffalo Public Schools announced Saturday that it would be dismissing students in preschool through eighth grade early on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday due to the “excessive heat.” (BPS students already have Wednesday off for Juneteenth.) Students will be dismissed 3.5 hours early and will eat lunch before leaving for the day.

BPS high school students will still take their Regents exams as scheduled, although the district will be making water stations available.

Free admission to State Parks Wednesday and Thursday

Governor Kathy Hochul announced Wednesday that admission to all New York State Parks will be free on Wednesday, June 19 and Thursday, June 20 to help New Yorkers beat the heat this week.

Extreme heat safety tips

According to the Centers for Disease Control, heat-related illness can be prevented by:

· Staying hydrated

· Checking on family, friends and neighbors, especially those with chronic conditions

· Wearing loose, lightweight clothing

· Stay in a home or public building with air conditioning

· Not leaving kids or pets in cars alone

· Wearing sunscreen

· Limiting strenuous outdoor activity

Thunderstorms possible in some areas

Along with the heat advisory, the National weather Service Buffalo forecasts thunderstorms that may produce local heavy rain and flash flooding for Chautauqua, Southern Erie, Wyoming Cattaraugus and Allegany counties Wednesday afternoon and into the evening. Isolated severe thunderstorms with damaging winds are also possible in these areas.

For Niagara, Orleans, Genesee and Northern Erie counties, the National Weather Service forecasts a marginal risk for severe thunderstorms Wednesday afternoon and evening. Damaging wind gusts are the primary hazard.

Holly Kirkpatrick is a journalist whose work includes investigations, data journalism, and feature stories that hold those in power accountable. She joined WBFO in December 2022.