DC heat emergency in effect amid hot, muggy conditions

D.C. has started the week under a heat emergency, with city officials opening a number of cooling centers for residents seeking relief from high temperatures expected in the region through Wednesday.

The District activates its heat emergency plans when the forecast calls for the heat index or high temperature to exceed 95 degrees.

NBC Washington meteorologist Lauryn Ricketts said Sunday will be hotter than Saturday, as high temperatures reach the low to mid 90s.

She expects the heat index to climb into the upper 90s to near 100 by Sunday afternoon due to additional impact of humidity. There is a chance of a stray shower or thunderstorm for parts of the D.C. region late Sunday, especially near the Blue Ridge, but most of the region should stay dry.

A mix of sun and clouds are due Monday, as temperatures will rise to the middle 90s and the heat index will near 100 again.

Ricketts said there is another chance of a shower or thunderstorm popping up across the D.C. region on Monday afternoon and Tuesday afternoon.

Temperatures on Wednesday are forecast to reach into the middle to upper 90s, with a heat index in the lower 100s, along with “plenty of sunshine.”

She expects the best chances of rain for the D.C. area coming by Wednesday night into Thursday and Friday, as high pressure in the western Atlantic will start to breakdown toward the end of the workweek.

“This will allow for a cold front to slip into the region. The jury is still out on how quickly this high pressure can breakdown and how quickly this cold front can move through, but the majority of guidance has increasing rain chances Thursday through much of the day on Friday,” Ricketts said.

Temperatures will be in the 80s on Thursday and Friday.

She advises travelers on Friday could experience heavy rain throughout the Mid Atlantic, leading to some flooding concerns.

“Due to the uncertainty of the frontal position, we are keeping chances of rain for this upcoming weekend, although better chances look to be Saturday as opposed to Sunday at this time,” said Ricketts.


Sunday: Partly to mostly sunny, isolated afternoon storm. Highs around 90. Heat Index in the middle to upper 90s.

Monday: Sunny to party sunny, very hot and humid. Highs in low to middle 90s. Heat Index near 100.

Tuesday: Mostly sunny, very hot and muggy. Highs in the middle 90s. Heat Index around 100.

Wednesday: Mostly sunny, with a few afternoon storms. Highs in the middle 90s. Heat Index around 100.

Current conditions:

Matt Small

Matt joined WTOP News at the start of 2020, after contributing to Washington’s top news outlet as an Associated Press journalist for nearly 18 years.

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