Monday meltdown: Heat index in the triple digits on 4th day of heat wave

WASHINGTON — The heat has continued for a fourth day as the heat index for the D.C. area hit the triple digits on the busiest days of travel for the July 4 holiday.

A heat advisory was in effect for most of the area until 8 p.m. on Monday. A heat advisory means that the combination of high temperatures and high humidity will create a situation in which heat illnesses, such as heat stroke a heat exhaustion, are possible.

At about 5:30 p.m., the temperature was 94; the heat index, 104.


Monday is a weather alert day because of the dangerous heat, Storm Team4 meteorologists said.

Afternoon rain and storms are possible for areas to the west of D.C., said Storm Team4 meteorologist Somara Theodore.

Tuesday will be clear and sunny but remain hot with highs in the mid-90s and the heat index at 100.

For July 4, there will be some cloud coverage, which should provide some relief. The heat index for Wednesday will be in the upper 90s.

Beat the heat

Experts warn residents to be “heat smart.” Some things you can do to help beat the heat are:

  • Limit strenuous outdoor activities
  • Don’t leave kids or pets in a closed car
  • Drink more water
  • Drink less caffeine and alcohol
  • Check on senior friends and neighbors
  • Take frequent breaks
  • Get medical help if you stop sweating
  • Adults should take corrective action, and children should seek help, if they feel nauseous, their face feels like it’s burning or they have muscle cramps
  • Make sure outdoor pets have ample shade and water

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has specific recommendations for the symptoms of heat exhaustion and the even-more-serious heat stroke.

Heat exhaustion

  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Cold, pale, clammy skin
  • Heavy sweating
  • Fainting

“Heat exhaustion is on the milder side; that’s when you first feel that you’re dehydrated, you’re sweating a lot, you’re nauseous,” said Dr. Eric Shobitz, a pediatric emergency doctor at Adventist HealthCare Shady Grove Medical Center.

Under those circumstances, you should move to a cooler location, loosen your clothes, lie down, apply wet, cool cloth to as much of your body as possible and sip water. If you continue to vomit, seek medical help right away.

Heat stroke

  • Body temperature above 103 degrees
  • Hot, red, dry or moist skin
  • Fast and strong pulse
  • Possible unconsciousness
Looking for ways to keep cool? Here are some public spaces and outdoor pools in the area that will help you beat the heat.

“Especially for kids, cooling off with a swim is helpful, but still [you still have to] take safety measures to stay cool,” said Dr. Shobitz.

“It’s good to be in the water but I would say make sure you keep your hydration going and be somewhere where it’s safe, where there are lifeguards watching the children,” he added.

Beach Forecast

A heat advisory is in effect at nearby beaches from noon until 8 p.m.

Ocean City, Maryland, highs will 87 degrees for Monday. But the heat index values could be between 104 to 108.

At Rehoboth Beach the heat index could reach 107, with a high of 88 degrees. For Bethany Beach the heat index could be as high as 107, with a high of 86 degrees. There is a Code Orange air quality alert, as well for Delaware.

There will be abundant sunshine at all area beaches on Monday.

If you’re heading to the beach, check out WTOP’s Beach Traffic and Weather page.

WTOP’s Melissa Howell contributed to this report.

If you’re looking ahead to the Fourth of July, here’s what you need to know about road closures, fireworks, and of course, traffic and weather.

Abigail Constantino

Abigail Constantino started her journalism career writing for a local newspaper in Fairfax County, Virginia. She is a graduate of American University and The George Washington University.

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