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Summer solstice packs extreme heat

Triple-digit forecast on first day of summer in much of eastern North America.

Summer solstice hot weather yogaEnlarge
Participants take part in a mass yoga class to mark the summer solstice in New York City's Times Square on June 20, 2012. (EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty Images)

You’ll have more daylight than ever to enjoy the hottest days of the year so far.

Weather warnings are accompanying the summer solstice today as much of eastern North America braces for sweltering temperatures.

“You're talking about almost 15 degrees above normal,” meteorologist Kristin Kline told The Associated Press.

Philadelphia could break an 89-year-old record today or tomorrow, the AP said. The current record, 99 F, was set in 1923.

It’s much the same in New York and Washington, the National Weather Service said.

Heat from the Midwest will spread to the Northeast and mid-Atlantic pushing the mercury into the 95-degree range.

So far today, all three New York City airports, a Connecticut airport and the cities of Burlington, Vt., and Houlton, Maine have set new temperature records, AP said

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Regions from Virginia, north to Maine, are issuing heat advisories and excessive heat warnings.

“Understand the warning signs of heat-related illnesses and take precautions to protect yourself, your family or any elderly neighbors,” the weather service said.

It’s much the same in Canada, where cities such as Toronto and Montreal have set up cooling centers to help those without air conditioning, CBC said

The first day of summer arrives – officially – at 7 pm EST today.

CBC meteorologist Michelle Leslie said residents must wait until Friday to get any relief.

“A cold front moving into the lower Great Lakes for Thursday has indicated signs of weakening, but should still be strong enough to trigger off thunderstorms later (Thursday), and with the arrival of the front we should see a reduction in both heat and humidity,” she said.

With the weather moving east, at least, Colorado firefighters get time to attack wildfires there, the Denver Post reported.

Crews are fighting the “most destructive private property wildfire in Colorado history,” that’s destroyed 189 homes and consumed almost 66,000 acres.

“The last three days were three days of red-flag conditions, which is very unusual for Colorado” in June, fire commander Bill Hahnenberg told the Post. “We do our best to hang on.”

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/americas/united-states/120620/summer-solstice-packs-extreme-heat