People across the region are being urged to stay cool and hydrated. Here’s what you need to know.
There’s no need to mince words — it’s hot out. Searing heat and stifling humidity are in the forecast through Saturday for the D.C. area. Here’s what you need to know.
The heat wave started Wednesday afternoon, when southerly winds and sunshine saw highs in the lower to mid-90 degrees, according to 7News First Alert Meteorologist Steve Rudin.
The National Weather Service issued a heat advisory for the D.C. region from 11 a.m. until 8 p.m. Thursday, with maximum heat indexes in the advisory area expected to be between 105 to 109 degrees.
Extreme heat and humidity will significantly increase the potential for heat related illnesses, particularly for those working or participating in outdoor activities, the National Weather Service said.
A Heat Advisory has been issued for Thursday. Maximum heat indices in the advisory area are expected to be 105-109 degrees. Outside of the advisory, it will still be hot. Heat and humidity will increase the potential for heat related illnesses, particularly for those outdoors. pic.twitter.com/kgggr7V88z
— NWS Baltimore-Washington (@NWS_BaltWash) July 26, 2023
In addition to the heat, there may be some late-day thunderstorms on Thursday that have the potential for some gusty winds, hail and periods of moderate to heavy rain.
Alas, Friday brings no reprieve from the high temperatures and some pop-up storms. An Excessive Heat Watch has been issued through Friday night. Heat index values will range from 102 to 110 degrees.
Where to beat the heat and stay cool
D.C. is urging residents to stay cool and hydrated, check on older adults and other vulnerable neighbors, keep pets indoors and wear appropriate clothing and sunscreen.
The District has activated its Hot Weather Emergency through Sunday. D.C. spray parks and recreation centers have extended hours through Sunday, and cooling centers throughout the District will be available for those seeking relief from the heat.
Christopher Rodriguez, director of the District’s homeland security agency, said that Mayor Muriel Bowser’s declaration of a hot weather emergency this week allows the city to open cooling centers and other facilities so residents can beat the heat.
He urged residents to familiarize themselves with the symptoms of heat-related illnesses, and to avoid strenuous activities outdoors whenever possible. A list of the District’s cooling centers can be found online.
“Do not underestimate the impact that this heat emergency is going to have on you. I know there’s a lot of people out there who want to go out for their runs, or want to spend a lot of time outside,” Rodriguez said.
“Limit your time outdoors, and make sure you stay hydrated. Because you’re dealing with triple-digit temperatures and the potential for a heat index of up to 110 degrees, you can very quickly feel those impacts.”
Plus, D.C. Public Schools have canceled all outdoor activities through Sunday.
In Virginia, Fairfax County has activated its Heat Plan for Thursday and Friday. The county said its cooling centers will have supplies available, including bottled water, sunscreen, insect repellent and body wipes.
With the heat advisory, Loudoun County has designated some libraries, community centers and recreation centers to serve as cooling centers.
Alexandria County offers cooling centers at its libraries and recreation centers. The Potomac Yard Park Interactive Fountain operates from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.
Prince William County has designated all its public libraries as cooling centers, and encourages residents to monitor the county’s Emergency Information Page in case any other cooling resources are announced.
In Maryland, Montgomery County has declared a heat emergency alert. In addition to cooling centers that are being made available to residents, passengers on Montgomery County Ride On buses will have access to free bottled water during service hours.
Anne Arundel County offers cooling centers in public libraries, some district police station lobbies and senior centers.
Calvert County has issued a Severe Heat Alert and has designated libraries and community centers as cooling centers.
In Charles County, cooling centers are available at the Capital Clubhouse, the Richard R. Clark Senior Center, Nanjemoy Community Center and the Waldorf Senior & Recreational Center, as well as public libraries.
Prince George’s County offers cooling centers at some senior centers, community centers, recreation complexes and ice rinks. Residents are asked to check in at the facility’s front desk when they arrive.
Howard County has issued a Heat Alert and offers cooling centers at community centers, senior centers and libraries during their normal hours of operation. The county advises anybody who needs shelter or other assistance to call the Grassroots hotline at 410-531-6677.
Parts of the U.S., particularly the Southwest, have been battling blazing temperatures this month, and health experts urged people to recognize the signs and symptoms of heat-related illness.
While remaining dangerously hot, there is also an increased risk of strong to severe thunderstorms on Saturday. Highs will range from the middle to upper 90s. Sunday will see temperatures in the 80s.
Next week, temperatures are trending in the 80s along with a good amount of sunshine.
THURSDAY: Heat advisory in effect. Hot with afternoon thunderstorms. Highs between 95 to 100 degrees. Heat index between 100 to 105 degrees.
FRIDAY: Heat alert. Partly sunny with afternoon storms. High between 95 to 100 degrees. Heat index from 102 to 107 degrees.
SATURDAY: Heat alert. Hot and humid with afternoon storms. Highs between 95 to 100 degrees. Heat index from 102 to 110 degrees.
WTOP’s Kate Corliss and Alejandro Alvarez contributed to this report.
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