The dog days of summer are here early. New York City is adapting.

As spring turned to summer this week, extreme heat caught much of New York City by surprise, sending anxious residents to prepare for rising temperatures earlier than usual, while various city agencies, civic organizations and businesses have also adjusted their seasonal calendars.

As climate change extends the traditional summer and hits the city with spontaneous rainstorms, many New Yorkers are finding they are no longer in sync with the weather and must rethink how to adapt to the passing months.

Look no further than this week: The city has already activated its first heat emergency plan of the year, but school remains in session, pools have not yet opened and public beaches are still staffed with lifeguards.

For the most part, New Yorkers made modest adjustments to their schedules, postponing going out or being cautious about going out, exercising and running errands, for example, during the morning and evening hours — the cooler parts of the day.

“There is always natural variability in weather and climate, but climate change is loading the dice so that the calendars we relied on in the past are becoming a losing proposition,” said Radley Horton, a professor at Columbia University’s School of Climate .

Extreme heat is hitting both earlier and later in the year due to global warming, said Dr. Horton. This means that all days are getting warmer, not just summer days, he explained, adding that “there is also the concern that misunderstood surprises with climate change, such as very early snowmelt, which leads to very dry early soils can make hot days even hotter.”

New York’s Department of Emergency Management studied extreme heat throughout the year to prepare for this summer, said Ashleigh Holmes, a spokeswoman for the agency. Because of the preliminary work, the department was able to update the cooling center map three weeks before the early heat wave, she added.

But the calendar worked against those efforts this week when public libraries, which account for roughly a third of all drop-in centers, were closed for the June 11 holiday on Wednesday.

“It is important to note that there are many ways to stay cool in New York City, including over 300 cooling centers that are not libraries, and there have been holidays in the past when libraries are not open,” said Aries Dela Cruz. executive director of public information at the Department of Emergency Management.

One of those other ways to stay cool is the Home Energy Assistance Program, a state program that gives away air conditioners and has been running since April. Anticipating a hotter and earlier summer, officials introduced the program two weeks earlier this year than last year, a state spokesman said.

When Rudy Thomas, 52, a home health aide in Coney Island, heard this week about the upcoming heat and air conditioning program, he scrambled to find the paperwork to apply.

But on Tuesday, when Mr. Thomas went to the Department of Social Services, which helps administer the program, and there was no one to help him. He waited three hours and then left, calling the task a waste of time.

A spokesman for the department said it would review what happened to Mr. Thomas to submit a request and that there was a sales box in the office for such requests.

For those who must work outside, such as construction workers, the heat can be particularly punishing. For now, their schedules haven’t changed so much as modified.

“Many unions negotiate furloughs and other safety measures for temperature-related issues,” said Mario Cilento, president of the New York State AFL-CIO, which represents 3,000 unions — including the building trades — across the state. He added that more rules were needed to protect workers in the age of climate change.

Delivery workers typically find their schedules become more demanding during extreme weather, said Ligia Guallpa, executive director of the Workers’ Justice Project, a nonprofit group that seeks to improve the working conditions of low-wage migrant workers.

When New Yorkers stay indoors due to rising temperatures, it means heavier workloads for delivery workers who, as independent contractors, have no means to turn down jobs without fear of losing their jobs. next, she explained.

The city has started a pilot program to distribute what it calls “cool kits,” including cooling towels, cold packs, water and sunscreen, to day laborers and delivery workers, Ms. Holmes of the city’s Department of Emergency Management.

New York State United Teachers, the state branch of the American Federation of Teachers union, is not yet pushing to change the school calendar. But the group, which has 700,000 members, has backed a recently passed law aimed at protecting children and teachers from high temperatures. The bill proposed that schools be evacuated if the temperature reaches 88 degrees.

Extreme weather can also affect the city’s cultural calendar, which features many outdoor events this time of year. Little Island, a public park on the Hudson River, has canceled two shows due to extreme heat since it began curating live concerts in 2021. During its first season, there were daytime shows, but due to the heat, all shows were moved to the evening, now starting at 8:30 p.m., a spokeswoman said.

New York Road Runners, a running organization that has canceled three races in the past two years due to extreme weather, posts guidelines for the brave, while its Striders program, for older walkers, is in constant consultation with its team of safety, which recommends that participants switch to domestic programs or cancel when necessary, a spokeswoman said.

Some Central Park picnickers, however, didn’t seem at all interested in changing their plans, said Wendy Weston, owner of Perfect Picnic, which caters for picnics (although one customer changed the start time this week from noon to 10 a.m. morning) “. I think people are very excited to be outside,” she said.

Julian Roberts-Grmela contributed to the reporting.

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