Skip to main content
In Brief

NYC Heat Wave Prompts Record Electricity Use

dealing with humidity, humid weather, uncomfortable humid weather
Humidity is uncomfortable because it holds moisture to our bodies, not allowing us to cool. (Image credit: Dreamstime.)

In the midst of a July Fourth holiday weekend heat wave, New York City set a record for Sunday electricity use, as overheated New Yorkers sought relief with their air conditioners.

Actual temperatures reached into the mid-90s Fahrenheit (mid-30s Celsius), with the heat index reaching a whopping 105 F (40 C). As the heat rose, air conditioners were cranked up, and Con Edison reported a Sunday electricity use record of 11,241 megawatts (MW) at 6 p.m. That consumption milestone replaced the previous record of 10,866 MW set on August 14, 2005, according to a Con Ed release. The all-time record of 13,189 MW was set on Friday, July 22, 2011, at 4 p.m.

The heat wave in the East followed a similar heat wave out west last month, which resulted in the hottest June day ever recorded in the United States, with the mercury rising to 129 F (54 C) in Death Valley in California. That heat wave exacerbated dangerous wildfire conditions in the region.

Andrea Thompson
Andrea graduated from Georgia Tech with a B.S. in Earth and Atmospheric Sciences in 2004 and a Master's in the same subject in 2006. She attended the Science, Health and Environmental Reporting Program at New York University and graduated with a Master of Arts in 2006.