cooper-bridgeA fishing party takes shelter in the shade of the Cooper Bridge between Red Bank and Middletown Wednesday. (Photo by Stacie Fanelli. Click to enlarge.)

The National Weather Service has issued an excessive heat warning to residents of the Red Bank region and beyond, alerting them to the dangers of high temperatures that are expected to linger into the weekend.

The warning, in effect through Saturday night, recommends limiting exposure to the heat, drinking lots of fluids and taking breaks from strenuous work as the mercury jumps to the mid-90s Thursday, with heat index readings around 103. Heat index is an attempt to approximate the perceived temperature when humidity is factored in.

It gets worse Friday. Temperatures are expected to hit 97 degrees, with a heat index of 106.

Here’s the forecast:

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