Riverhead residents, workers try to stay cool as heat advisory remains in effect through Thursday

Driving home from an overnight stay on Shelter Island, Liz and Mark Perrone of St. James had a very important stop to make Wednesday.

In the midst of a heat wave, their destination was one where they’d find plenty of company in such weather: Snowflake Ice Cream Shoppe in Riverhead.

“This is brutal,” Mr. Perrone said. 

Across the North Fork, workers, residents and visitors alike were searching for ways to stay cool as the heat index nearly eclipsed triple digits at 99 degrees, according to the National Weather Service.

Ultimate relief is still more than 24 hours away. While the high temperature reached 92 degrees Wednesday, the NWS is projecting only slightly milder temperatures at about 88 degrees Thursday with a heat index of 95.

The heat advisory issued for Wednesday will remain in effect through 8 p.m. Thursday. An air quality alert is also active for Suffolk County through 11 p.m. Wednesday, according to the NWS.

For some on the North Fork, the heat was a good excuse to go to the beach or to eat ice cream. For others it meant keeping plans to visit a park or farm stand.

While both Riverhead and Southold towns opened up cooling centers, they were empty Wednesday afternoon.

Guests of Tanger Outlet Center were able to hide out in air conditioned stores, but for 30 minutes a little after 1 p.m. Wednesday the retail destination suffered an outage, according to PSEG-Long Island.

While the heat advisory ends Thursday evening, temperatures are expected to remain in the upper 80s and into the 90s through the weekend.