Heat wave on the horizon for DC region

WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 21: The early morning sun begins to rise over the US Capitol, Washington, Monument and Lincoln Memorial, on July 21, 2016 in Washington, DC. Washington area temperatures are forecasted to reach the upper 90s for the next few days. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)(Getty Images/Mark Wilson)
Get ready for several days of oppressive summer heat: The latest forecast has the WTOP listening area roasting in the low to mid 90s for the rest of the week.

That’s more than enough to the meet the criteria for a heat wave, which is three or more consecutive days of high temperatures over 90s degrees.

For the first time this year, the D.C. area is facing days of intense heat and little cloud cover, with most of the country east of the Rockies poised for at least a week of well above-average temperatures.

“High pressure over the Southeastern U.S. is going to be the dominating factor in our weather for most of the next seven to 10 days,” NBC Washington meteorologist Chuck Bell said.

A ‘cool front’ in the form of showers settled in the area Monday and gave a reprieve from the rising humidity.

But that won’t last, with humid air creeping back in on Thursday and Friday — when heat indices are expected to be near 100 degrees.

If conditions match projections, this will be the hottest week of the year so far. The average daily temperature in the region for this time of year is in the mid-80s.

The next best chance for rain won’t be until late Friday or Saturday, when Northern Maryland and the Shenandoah Valley are the most likely to see isolated thunderstorms.

The immediate D.C. area could also see some storms during the afternoon hours on Saturday and Sunday.

As for the Fourth of July: It’s still too far out to say for certain, but long-range forecast models suggest another hot and humid day with a slight chance for afternoon thunderstorms.


A humid and stormy start to the week gives way to scorching, mostly dry summer weather. A slight chance of thunderstorms and a return to humid weather closes the week out.

Wednesday: Mostly sunny and hot. The humidity will stay fairly low. Highs in the lower 90s.

Thursday: Mostly sunny and hot. A bit more humid. Highs in the low to mid 90s.

Friday: Another mostly sunny and hot day. Isolated storms, most likely in the mountains and northern Maryland. Highs in the low to mid 90s.

Weekend outlook: Staying hot with only a slight chance of a thunderstorm. Highs in the low to mid 90s.

Current conditions:

Alejandro Alvarez

Alejandro Alvarez joined WTOP as a digital journalist and editor in June 2018. He is a reporter and photographer focusing on politics, political activism and international affairs.

Zeke Hartner

Zeke Hartner is a digital writer/editor who has been with WTOP since 2017. He is a graduate of North Carolina State University’s Political Science program and an avid news junkie.

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