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City adds pool hours to combat heat threat

By Jaime E. Lutz
Globe Correspondent / July 20, 2011

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Mayor Thomas M. Menino issued a heat advisory for Boston yesterday, warning residents to take precautions as oppressive temperatures may trigger a local heat wave this week.

“The hot weather has now become steamy weather as high temperatures and humidity arrive this week,’’ said Menino in a statement. “In these conditions, we must remember to stay cool and hydrated and continue to keep an eye on our neighbors.’’

Starting today, Boston will open cooling stations at community centers throughout the city and extend community pool hours to 9 p.m., the statement said, noting that children and the elderly are especially at risk in hot and humid conditions.

Worcester opened cooling centers yesterday, according to a statement by the city.

It takes at least three days of temperatures of at least 90 degrees to qualify as a heat wave. The predicted high for today is 89 degrees, but temperatures could easily climb above that, said Rebecca Gould, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Taunton. Tomorrow and Friday are expected to bring temperatures in the mid- to upper 90s, with heat indexes at 100 to 105, Gould said.

Saturday should have temperatures in the mid-90s.

Residents should stay hydrated and limit their time outside, Gould said. Strenuous activities should be limited to cooler morning and evening hours, she said.

Conditions could be worse: The heat wave moving this week through the Midwest brought indexes up to 131 degrees in at least one location.

Residents with questions about the city’s heat-related services should call the mayor’s 24-hour hotline at 617-635-4500 or visit www.cityofboston.gov/heat.

Jaime E. Lutz can be reached at jaime.lutz@globe.com