Saturday scorcher: DC-area ties record-high temps, District implements heat emergency plan

It’s going to feel like August in the D.C. area this Saturday, but it’s only May and still springtime. Here’s what you need to know for this scorcher of a weekend.

Temperatures in the area tie the heat record of 95 degrees for this day, which was set in 1934. Regardless of potential milestones, today is a good day to make staying cool your priority. Seriously.

Mayor Muriel Bowser activated the District’s Heat Emergency Plan from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday which opens cooling centers for residents; those centers can be found online with an interactive map.

Earlier in the day, WTOP’s Dick Uliano reported water flow at some cooling stations in the District had been malfunctioning. City crews have been sent out and, as of 3 p.m., many of those stations are back on line.

“It’s going to be the hottest day in May in the last 11 years,” Storm Team4 meteorologist Doug Kammerer said. Temperatures are expected to reach a record-high 96 degrees with abundant sunshine, and heat indexes close to 100 degrees.

Also, with drastic rise in temperatures, risk of heat stroke and other dangerous heat related conditions is also increased. Please click here for a list of heat related conditions, their symptoms and what you can do about it.

Heat stroke can be very dangerous, especially to the elderly and health compromised, so stay hydrated, stay in a cool place and, if you’re feeling symptoms (dizziness, quickened pulse, headache, etc…), please seek medical help.

Temperatures began climbing on Saturday morning and passed the 80 degree mark by 9:30 a.m. in some parts of the region.

Storm Team4 meteorologist Mike Stinneford said it will dangerously hot and humid.

“The abrupt beginning of hot temperatures early in the season after a relatively cool spring brings an increased risk of heat illnesses unless proper precautions are taken for those working or recreating outdoors,” the National Weather Service said, urging people to take extra precautions during this heat.

There’s also a chance of isolated thunderstorms Saturday afternoon. Those storms will mostly be west of D.C.

The District’s pools don’t open until Memorial Day, but Bowser said several spray parks across the city would open early. They will be open Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. The full list is online.

Here’s a list of spray parks in D.C. according to Bowser.

  • Ward 1
    • Harrison Recreation Center, 1330 V St, NW Park at LeDroit, 319 Oakdale Pl, NW Westminster Playground, 911 Westminster St, NW
  • Ward 2
    • Kennedy Recreation Center, 1401 7th Street, NW
  • Ward 3
    • Chevy Chase Recreation Center, 5500 41st St, NW
    • Friendship Recreation Center, 4500 Van Ness St, NW
    • Macomb Recreation Center, 3409 Macomb St, NW
  • Ward 4
    • Riggs-LaSalle Recreation Center, 501 Riggs Rd, NE
    • Takoma Community Center, 300 Van Buren St, NW
  • Ward 5
    • Edgewood Recreation Center, 301 Franklin St, NE
    • Turkey Thicket Recreation Center, 1100 Michigan Ave, NE
  • Ward 6
    • Eastern Market Metro Park, 701 Pennsylvania Ave, SE
    • Potomac Avenue Triangle Park, 1216 Potomac Ave, SE
    • Watkins Spray Park, 420 12th St, SE
  • Ward 7
    • Fort Davis Spray Park, 1400 41st St, SE
    • Marvin Gaye Park at Division Ave, Division & Foote St, NE
  • Ward 8
    • Fort Greble Recreation Center, Martin Luther King Jr. Ave and Elmira St. SW


Saturday: Partly sunny, hot and humid. Isolated PM storms (West). Highs in the low to mid 90s.

Saturday night: Mostly clear. Very warm. Wind 5 to 10 mph. Temperatures 70s (suburbs) near 80 (downtown).

Sunday: Increasing clouds, hot and humid. Storms, possibly severe, later in the day. Highs in the lower 90s.

Monday: Partly sunny. Much cooler. Highs in the upper 60s to lower 70s.

Tuesday: Possible showers. Highs in the low to mid 70s.

Current conditions:

WTOP’s Matt Delaney contributed to this report. 

Joshua Barlow

Joshua Barlow is a writer, composer, and producer who has worked for CGTN, Atlantic Public Media, and National Public Radio. He lives in Northeast Washington, D.C., where he pays attention to developments in his neighborhood, economic issues, and social justice.

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.

Federal News Network Logo
Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up