By Joseph O'Leary
NEW YORK (Reuters) - New York's medical examiner said on Monday last week's mini heat wave claimed at least one life - an 81-year-old man who died of hyperthermia.
The Queens man died last Thursday, the second day of the 2012 summer season and midway through a three-day heat wave that gripped the East Coast, said Ellen Borakove, a spokeswoman for New York's chief medical examiner.
Last summer's brutal temperatures were blamed for the deaths of 31 people, Borakove said.
On Thursday, a record high of 97 degrees Fahrenheit (36 degrees Celsius) was recorded at John F. Kennedy International Airport in Queens, two degrees higher than the previous record reached in 1988. It was the second day in a row of record-smashing temperatures at the Queens airport, where the mercury rose to 94 degrees on Wednesday, topping the 93-degree mark set in 1955.
The heat wave broke over the weekend and by Monday, highs reached only the 70s but were expected to rise somewhat in the next few days, forecasters said.
(Reporting by Joseph O'Leary; Editing by Barbara Goldberg and Marguerita Choy)