Triple-digit heat indexes roasted the D.C. area on Tuesday, and more is in store.
Wednesday is expected to feel even hotter, with the heat index forecast to hit around 100 again. There will, however, be a chance for a few thunderstorms Wednesday afternoon and evening. Thursday and Friday will be slightly cooler but still humid, as Tropical Storm Elsa passes through the region.
According to the National Weather Service, the temperature reached 92 degrees at Reagan National Airport just before 3 p.m., with a heat index of 102. An hour later, that temperature had risen to 93, but the heat index dropped to 100.
A heat emergency was activated for D.C. Tuesday. And in northern Maryland, a heat advisory remains in effect through 8 p.m. A Code Orange Air Quality Alert was also issued for the Baltimore metro area Tuesday.
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Staying safe in the heat
The National Weather Service and the Maryland Department of Health advise people to drink fluids, stay out of the sun, wear sunscreen, seek air conditioning when possible and check up on relatives and neighbors during extreme heat events.
Children and pets should never be left unattended in vehicles.
Try to do any strenuous outdoor activities or work in the early morning or evening, the National Weather Service suggests.
But if you have to work or spend time outside, wear lightweight and loose-fitting clothing, take frequent breaks in air conditioning and know the signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke:
Signs of heat exhaustion:
- Heavy sweating.
- Cold, pale and clammy skin.
- Fast, weak pulse.
- Nausea or vomiting.
- Muscle cramps.
- Tiredness or weakness.
Signs of heat stroke:
- High body temperature (103°F or higher).
- Hot, red, dry or damp skin.
- Fast, strong pulse.
- Losing consciousness.
More information on how to handle heat-related illnesses can be found on the CDC website. Find a local cooling center in Maryland online. DC offers an interactive map for open cooling centers.
Tuesday night: Warm, muggy and mainly clear, with an isolated shower or storm. Lows in the 70s.
Wednesday: Mostly sunny, very hot and humid. Chance of a shower or storm after noon. Highs in the low to mid 90s, with a heat index around 100.
Thursday: Partly sunny and humid, with scattered showers or storms likely after noon. Highs in the mid to upper 80s.
Friday: Chance of rain very early, then scattered storms after noon possible. Otherwise, partly sunny and humid, with highs in the mid to upper 80s.