Aug. 28 (UPI) -- Multiple Massachusetts school districts announced plans to dismiss students from school early this week due to a heatwave enveloping the Northeast.
The Lawrence, Lowell, Medford, Haverhill, Framingham Taunton and Westford school districts announced early dismissals throughout the week beginning as early as Monday and ending as late as Thursday in some districts.
"We will continue to monitor the forecast and temperatures carefully in order to determine the schedule for the rest of the week," Lowell Public Schools said.
The Boston National Weather Service said an excessive heat warning was expanded for all of eastern Massachusetts for Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday with ongoing heat index values of 105 degrees or greater.
"We really didn't want to put ourselves in a position where we were calling 911 if children were to get over heated and pass out or faint," Medford Public Schools Superintendent Marice Edouard-Vincent said of the decision to send students home early.
Seventeen states from Missouri to Maine were under heat advisories and warnings Tuesday, ABC News reported.
Temperatures greater than 90 degrees were expected through Wednesday with humidity leaving millions feeling temperatures of more than 100 degrees.
NWS Washington, D.C./Baltimore issued a heat advisory from noon to 8 p.m. Tuesday with heat index values between 100 degrees and 105 degrees expected for some areas.
A code orange air quality alert was also in effect for the Washington, D.C., metro area indicating "air pollution concentrations within the region may become unhealthy for sensitive groups" such as children the elderly, and people suffering from respiratory illnesses, WTOP reported.
NBC Washington meteorologist Sheena Parveen said an influx of hot air would increase temperatures in the eastern half of the United States by up to 15 degrees above normal temperatures for this time of year.
"High pressure is centered over the Carolinas and will remain there pretty much all week," Parveen said. "This will provide us with a southwest wind flow, bringing up hot and humid air every day."
The NWS encouraged people affected by the heat wave to stay hydrated and remain indoors or wear light-colored clothing and take frequent breaks in shaded or air conditioned areas if working or traveling outdoors.