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Extreme heat is a prolonged period of very hot weather, which may include high humidity. In Massachusetts, a “heat wave” is usually defined as a period of three or more consecutive days above 90 °F.
Extreme heat can be dangerous and even life-threatening if proper precautions are not taken. In extreme heat and high humidity, the body must work extra hard to maintain a normal temperature.
Most heat-related illnesses occur because the victim has been over-exposed to heat or has over-exercised for his or her age and physical condition. Although anyone can suffer from a heat-related illness, some people are at greater risk than others. Those at greater risk include older adults, young children and those who are sick or overweight. To reduce the risks of extreme heat conditions, take the proper safety precautions to protect yourself and your family.
Conditions are favorable for an excessive heat warning in the next 24-72 hours.
Daytime heat indices of 100ºF–104ºF for two or more hours. The heat index is a measure of how hot it feels when relative humidity is factored in with air temperature.
Daytime heat indices of greater than or equal to 105°F for two or more hours.
Learn more about the Heat Index and how it is calculated.
Before Extreme Heat
During extreme heat, people are susceptible to three heat-related illnesses. Learn how to recognize and respond to them: