The heat wave that burned up the Midwest has hit the East Coast on Wednesday.

It’s 78 degrees in Boston, 91 degrees in New York City, 91 degrees in Philadelphia, 97 degrees in Washington DC, and 94 degrees in Richmond.  And it’s only June 8th. 

Indeed, the high temperatures in many East Coast areas are approaching record levels (relative do the time of the year). 

In response to this heat wave, the National Weather Service issued an excessive heat warning for “much of southeastern Pennsylvania,” northern Delaware, and west central New Jersey.

The warning said the early season heat wave and high humidity will be the most dangerous in the afternoon and early in the evening hours.  The elderly, children, pets, and those in highly urbanized areas are at the greatest risk.

The National Weather Service advises people to drink plenty of fluids, stay in air-conditioned rooms if possible, and reschedule strenuous outdoor work for early morning or late evening if possible.

It warned that leaving people unattended in cars for prolonged periods of time could result in death. At the local government level, warnings were also issued in affected areas.

The heat wave has already killed at least five elderly people in recent days (1 in Wisconsin, 2 in Maryland, and 2 in Tennessee), reported CNN.  These people all had pre-existing conditions.

When the temperature in the human body rises above an acceptable threshold for too long, enzymes denature, metabolic pathways are blocked, and organs fail.