Dulles hits 100 degrees — 1st time ever recorded in September

Daily record highs were broken at all three D.C.-area airports, including one that saw the highest temperature for September since records started being kept.

Dulles International Airport reached 100 degrees — the first time ever in the month of September that it has reached the triple digits since the National Weather Service started recording temperatures at the airport back in the 1960s.

The National Weather Service released the verified highs for Sept. 6.

Temperatures at BWI Marshall and Reagan National airports broke the daily record with a tie at 98 degrees.

7New First Alert meteorologist Mark Peña said that Wednesday was right on par with Tuesday, when records at all three D.C.-area airports were broken, as well.

The National Weather Service had issued a heat advisory from noon to 7 p.m., warning that temperatures and humidity could cause heat-related illness.

Factoring in the humidity, Peña said temperatures could feel as hot as 107 degrees.

While Peña does expect above-average temperatures in the coming days, he said Wednesday should be the “last day of intense heat” in the region. Thursday should stay in the mid-90s, he said, with some scattered showers during the day.

By Saturday, he said, temps should be more typical, hovering around early September averages in the mid-80s.

People are encouraged to reduce their times outdoors and take precautions such as wearing lightweight clothing and hydrating during the heat advisory.

Temperatures this time of year are typically in the 80s, according to 7News First Alert Meteorologist Brian van de Graaff.

‘Pretty unbearable’

D.C. resident Martina Kneifel, who plays on a local volleyball team, told WTOP’s Luke Lukert near the National Mall Wednesday morning that the group has been scheduling practices for the morning because “the evenings are pretty unbearable, actually.”

Samir El Rashidy, another D.C. resident and fellow volleyball team member, said this Labor Day was “definitely a beer day.”

El Rashidy had advice for people looking to get their exercise in during the heat wave: Stay hydrated and “listen to your body” — don’t push too hard if you’re feeling tired.

Kneifel added, “Try not to exercise at the peak afternoon heat.”

D.C. resident Martina Kneifel said her volleyball team has been moving practices to the morning, when it’s cooler. (WTOP/Luke Lukert)

Any relief for the weekend?

A cold front moving into the area on Thursday will bring evening showers and storms but will keep the region heat-blanketed with a heat index from 98-102.

“There’s some thunderstorm activity starting Thursday into the weekend, which could bring us some relief,” said Kevin Witt with the National Weather Service. “Without that rainfall … everything calls for high temperatures and near record heat.”

Highs on Friday peak in the low 90s.

Cooler weather is in sight with highs in the 80s by the weekend and highs in the 70s and 80s next week,” Evans said. 

A jogger at the National Mall on Wednesday, when highs are expected to reach 100 degrees later in the day. (WTOP/Luke Lukert)

However, with Thursday’s rain comes some risks for severe weather, including flooding.

“That’s going to trigger off some strong to severe storms. Maybe a couple of storms that produce damaging winds if we get the right setup, maybe even some large hail, but it’s too early to tell,” Witt said. “We can’t even roll out some isolated flooding too, because the ground is hard. … So we could see some quick runoff and flash flooding isn’t out of the question either.”

Staying healthy in high heat

With the extended period of heat, those moving around outdoors are at heightened risk for dehydration, heat cramps, heat exhaustion, heat stroke and a number of other heat-related conditions.

Knowing the signs of heat exposure can prevent a life-threatening situation. Should any of the following occur, get out of the heat, loosen any tight or heavy clothing and drink plenty of water:

  • Heat cramps: symptoms include painful muscle spasms, usually involving the abdominal muscles or legs
  • Heat exhaustion: first signs are cool, moist, pale or flushed skin, dizziness, nausea, headache and weakness
  • Heat stroke: the most serious sign of overexposure. Symptoms include red, hot, dry skin, weak pulse, rapid breathing and changes in consciousness. Seek medical attention by calling 911.

If you are traveling, be sure to plan your day to include time and places to cool down and rehydrate. This is especially important for drivers with children or furry friends along for the ride.


WEDNESDAY: HEAT ALERT. Mostly sunny. Heat Index: 100-105. Winds: North 5-10 mph. Highs near 100.

WEDNESDAY NIGHT: Mainly clear. Winds: Light. Lows in the 70s.

THURSDAY: HEAT ALERT. Partly cloudy. PM showers/storms possible. Heat Index: 98-102. Winds: Southwest 5-10 mph. Highs in the mid 90s.

FRIDAY: Chance showers and storms. Winds: South 5-10 mph. Highs in the upper 80s to low 90s.

Current weather

WTOP’s Luke Lukert, Ciara Wells, Abigail Constantino and Joshua Barlow contributed to this report.

Jessica Kronzer

Jessica Kronzer graduated from James Madison University in May 2021 after studying media and politics. She enjoys covering politics, advocacy and compelling human-interest stories.

Kate Corliss

Kate Corliss is a Digital Writer/Editor for WTOP.com. She is a senior studying journalism at American University and serves as the Campus Life Editor for the student newspaper, The Eagle.

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