Scorching. Baking. Broiling.
However you want to say it — and most people tended to use modifiers not fit for a family publication — Tuesday was hot in New Orleans.
“It’s so hot, the devil doesn’t want this heat. That’s how hot it is,” said Anthony Bonner, a worker on the Regional Transit Authority’s North Rampart streetcar project who sought shade under an awning on Canal Street during a break.
With an advisory in effect to warn of the dangerously high temperatures and a heat index of about 105 degrees, the city sweltered through the day as it has for the past several days.
But at least a little relief is in sight. Temperatures won’t drop to anything that would qualify as cool, but at least they should be a bit lower for the next few days.
Bonner and others on the RTA work site said the temperatures were hot enough that bottles of water were being pressed into the hands of workers even before they had finished the previous ones to help them cope with heat that radiated from the streets and buildings as “hot as two ovens.”
The heat was in the mid-90s throughout most of the New Orleans metro area on Tuesday, with highs of 95 degrees in Slidell, 94 at Louis Armstrong International Airport in Kenner and 93 at the lakefront. That’s higher than the typical temperature of 92 degrees for this time of year, said meteorologist Mark Shields at the National Weather Service’s Slidell office.
The temperature wasn’t quite record-breaking. In 2007 it hit 100 degrees on Aug. 11.
But relief is in sight.
The high temperatures have been caused by a system over Texas and Oklahoma that has kept the typical afternoon storms — and the relief they bring — away.
“A lot of times, the temperatures during the morning and at noontime were similar to a normal day, but they continued to climb because there weren’t thunderstorms to knock them down,” Weather Service meteorologist Fred Zeigler said.
Temperatures are projected to peak in the low 90s again Wednesday and Thursday and dip as the week goes on. By Sunday, the high temperature will be in the upper 80s, Shields said.
Follow Jeff Adelson on Twitter, @jadelson.