Warm Wednesday makes for promising Fourth of July in DC region

The warm weather continues into day six of the D.C. area's heat wave. Paired with only a slight chance of storms, the forecast makes for good Fourth of July celebrations.

WASHINGTON — To grill or not to grill for the Fourth — that is the question. The answer? Grill away, because the warm weather continues into day six of the D.C. area’s heat wave.

Storm Team 4 meteorologist Steve Prinzivalli says Wednesday’s weather won’t be as bad as Tuesday, which was the hottest day of 2018 so far, but the hot, muggy weather, as well as the low chance for storms, will make for good Fourth of July celebrations.

Tuesday’s temperatures reached an official high of 97 degrees at Reagan National Airport, but Wednesday’s forecast isn’t expected to top that.

Prinzivalli said the area will see more clouds in the afternoon, but the chance for storms is slight. Storm Team 4 meteorologist Somara Theodore said the areas west of Washington will see most of the rain, and while not everyone will deal with a storm, “those who do are looking at heavy downpours, gusty winds and plenty of lightning.”

“Any storms will contain both lightning and drenching downpours so remember: when thunder roars, head indoors!” Prinzivalli said.

The storms should diminish by 10 p.m., leaving partly cloudy skies and lows in the 70s.

Putting the final touches on your Fourth of July plans? Here’s what you need to know about road closures, fireworks and, of course, traffic and weather.


Wednesday: Partly to mostly cloudy, with highs in the low 90s. Isolated thunderstorms are possible.

Thursday: Partly sunny, hot and humid, with a slight chance of isolated storms. Highs in the low 90s.

Friday: Partly sunny, hot and muggy, with showers and storms likely; temperatures in the upper 80s.

Saturday: Becoming mostly sunny, cooler and less humid, with temperatures in the mid-80s.

Sunday: Mostly sunny and comfortably warm, with temperatures in the mid- to upper 80s.

Beat the heat

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

  • 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 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

In Ocean City, Bethany Beach and Rehoboth Beach, highs will reach the low 80s, with partly cloudy skies.

Virginia Beach will see highs in the low 80s as well, but will see morning thunderstorms.

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

Like WTOP on Facebook and follow @WTOP on Twitter to engage in conversation about this article and others.

© 2018 WTOP. All Rights Reserved. This website is not intended for users located within the European Economic Area.