It seems too early to be seeking relief from record heat to Ben Parker of Abilene, Texas.
''It's just miserable,'' Parker, 77, said as his West Texas city posted the nation's highest recorded temperature Monday at 102 degrees. Three straight days of heat were making him feel his age.
''I would even like to go fishing, but it is too cotton pickin' hot for that,'' he said. ''I've been here nearly all my life ... and I don't ever recall it being like this in May.''
A spring heat wave has sizzled from Texas to New England, stressing utilities as residents cranked up air conditioners. While parts of New England and Texas were expecting cooler temperatures, highs in the 90s were forecast again today from South Carolina into Connecticut.
The afternoon high in New York City's Central Park on Monday was 91 degrees, 22 degrees above normal and tying a record set in 1936. The American Red Cross handed out thousands of bottles of water.
Power companies in the mid-Atlantic region urged customers to conserve electricity as temperatures peaked above 90, well over usual spring readings in the 70s, the National Weather Service said.
The unseasonable heat came at a time when some generating units were down for scheduled maintenance to get ready for the summer, said Melissa Josef, a spokeswoman for PJM, which coordinates the transmission of power for Mid-Atlantic utilities.
Authorities in many areas issued heat stroke and air quality warnings, with few problems reported.
Belvedere Elementary School in Arnold, Md., had to send students home two hours early because workers couldn't get the school's central air conditioning system started.
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