Norwich — For Anna Johnson, it was a choice between the lesser of two evils — stay home where it's hot, or go outside where it's a scorcher.
Johnson chose the latter and decided Tuesday morning to go for an early walk, hoping to catch a rare breeze through the trees at Mohegan Park.
"I had to get out of the house," Johnson said. "I could barely feel the AC, and I feel like getting a good walk will help release some energy. I'm regretting it now because I'm quickly running out of water."
The National Weather Service said the brunt of Tuesday's heat was felt in inland towns like Norwich, where it was expected to reach a high of 95 degrees.
Today's outlook doesn't look much better, as the high temperature for the city is expected to reach the lower 90s, the weather service said.
If it does reach 90 degrees, the city will officially be in a heat wave, as it would mark the third day that it has reached that temperature.
Shoreline towns like New London reached the upper 80s Tuesday and will do so again today, when there is a chance of showers and thunderstorms.
The heat also triggered the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection to issue an air quality alert for high ozone levels for most of Tuesday.
DEEP officials said that anyone can be affected by ozone, but groups particularly sensitive include children and adults who are active outdoors, and people with respiratory disease, such as asthma.
Bob Ostrowski faithfully walks three laps around Mohegan Park whether it's hot or not.
Drenched in sweat, he joked that a public works employee had hosed his UConn T-shirt with water.
"I like the cold," Ostrowski said. "I'll take the cold over the heat any day. After this, I'm going straight home where there's air conditioning. I'm not even going to mow the grass. That can wait until Thursday."
For the four lifeguards at Spaulding Pond Beach inside the park, relief came only during their breaks.
Lifeguards Hanna Deglin, Valery Precourt, Paige Supples and Genevieve Barlow rotate every 15 to 20 minutes on the beach stand.
"It does get really hot," Deglin said. "The key is to drink plenty of water, use lots of sunscreen and on our breaks go in the water."
Among those seeking a break from the heat at the beach were Sandra Ortiz and her friends.
"This is the best place to be," she said. "When I get hot, all I have to do is get in the water and cool off."
Relief is expected to come Thursday, when temperatures are forecast to be in the 80s. Pleasant weather is expected to continue through Sunday, the weather service said.