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The heat index was expected to reach 105 degrees on Tuesday, the first day of classes for Penn undergraduate students.

Credit: Lucas Weiner

Penn students are sweating, and it’s not just because they’re nervous classes began today. 

The Penn community was notified of the potential dangerous weather conditions today at 10:08 a.m. by Executive Vice President of Facilities and Real Estate Services Craig Carnaroli and Vice President of FRES Anne Papageorge. 

"The National Weather Service is forecasting a heat advisory for Aug. 28-29, and heat wave for the next several days, including conditions potentially dangerous for heat-related illnesses," the email read.

The National Weather Service announced a heat advisory in Philadelphia from Tuesday, Aug. 28 to Wednesday, Aug. 29. The heat indexes are expected to reach 105 degrees on Tuesday and 106 degrees the next day. The National Weather Service, however, predicts that the heat will abate by 8 p.m. on Wednesday. 

While Penn has not yet announced any operation suspension, the email advised people to stay indoors in air-conditioned environments, increase water intake and avoid strenuous physical activity (i.e. running, biking, etc.) and heavy meals, among other precautions. 

The heat wave has also placed an “extra demand” on Penn’s cooling systems, according to the email, setting off an energy conservation plan across all campus buildings. As such, members of the Penn community were asked to turn off overhead lighting, turn up the thermostat and keep windows and doors closed.

The Philadelphia School District made the precautionary decision on Monday to close schools at 1 p.m. on both Tuesday and Wednesday as temperatures are forecasted to reach triple digit heat indexes.  

The excessive heat has swept across the entire Northeast region in the U.S., from Philadelphia all the way to Upstate New York, placing 56 million people under heat alerts by the National Weather Service. 

A heat advisory is issued by the National Weather Service at the onset of dangerous heat conditions, when a period of hot temperatures and high humidity is expected. Young children and the elderly are most susceptible to heat-related illnesses, and the Center for Disease Control recommends wearing light-colored and loose-fitting clothes to stay cool.