Temperatures will drop below 90 degrees on Thursday. But then on Friday and into the weekend, New Jersey will be broiling.

Actual temperatures will be up near 100 degrees but with high levels of humidity, it will feel like it's between 110 and 120 degrees, the most oppressive weather we’ve had in years.

“When you start having temperatures that high, it becomes very difficult for the body to really remove the heat. Your body’s ability to sweat becomes impaired,” said Dr. Victor Almeida, chairman of the department of emergency department at Monmouth Medical Center.

He said if you’re outside in times of high heat and humidity, you may suddenly begin to develop heat stroke.

“You feel weak, you feel dizzy or lightheaded. Essentially, you will become confused and then ultimately probably unconscious and unresponsive.”

New Jersey state epidemiologist Dr. Tina Tan said that if you stop sweating and your pulse starts racing, “please go seek a health care provider, go get some health care just to get that addressed.”

She said to avoid heat-related illness, “definitely drink plenty of water, or non-alcoholic beverages, because alcoholic beverages can dehydrate you.”

During the upcoming heat wave the New Jersey Health Department is also advising everyone to do the following:

— Make sure children, the elderly and those with chronic health conditions are drinking water and ensure that persons with mobility problems have adequate fluids in easy reach.

— Wear sunglasses that block both UVA and UVB rays.

— Use sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher and both UVA and UVB protection.

— If you do not have air conditioning, spend time in air-conditioned places such as libraries, movie theaters, malls or other public buildings during the hottest hours of the day.

— Check with your municipality to see if cooling centers are available.

— Wear loose and light-colored clothing. Wear a hat when outdoors.

— Avoid any outdoor activity during the hottest hours of the day.

— Reduce physical activity or reschedule it for cooler times of the day (early morning or evening).

Tan said symptoms of heat stress and heat stroke in pets may include heavy panting, dehydration, excess saliva, bluish-purple or bright red gums, rapid or irregular heart rate, muscle tremors, lack of coordination, unconsciousness, and high body temperature.

She said pets should be kept indoors and be given cool water and shade while they are outside, and they should never be left unattended in vehicles during warm or hot weather.

You can contact reporter David Matthau at David.Matthau@townsquaremedia.com

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