Heat wave singes DC area, but threat of severe storms eases

The serious heat and humidity remain, but the National Weather Service has canceled a tornado watch for several Maryland counties, including Howard and Frederick.

The tornado watch was concentrated in northern Maryland, as well as select counties in western Virginia and the panhandle of West Virginia.

Intense heat and humidity made an early visit to the D.C. area Friday, with temperatures nearing 90.

The heat is expected to stick around all weekend, and could break daily records.

Storm Team4 meteorologist Mike Stinneford said that another feature of summer — thunderstorms — may crop up in parts of the region on Friday, particularly in the northern suburbs.

But Saturday is when the heat wave crests, with temperatures expected to be 20 to 30 degrees above average for much of the mid-Atlantic and Northeast, according to the National Weather Service.

“Dangerously hot and humid Saturday with highs in the low to mid 90s, and heat indices close to 100 degrees,” Stinneford reported.

Saturday is forecast to be the hottest day of the weekend, with many locations reaching the mid-90s and heat indexes approaching 100, the National Weather Service said.

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser activated the District’s heat emergency plan at 2 p.m. Friday. That means cooling centers will be open and free transportation can be arranged to shelters.

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.

The abrupt beginning of hot temperatures early in the season after a relatively cool spring brings an increased risk of heat illnesses, and the National Weather Service is recommending proper precautions when working or recreating outdoors.

The good news? The heat won’t be here long. A round of late-day storms on Sunday will douse the region, bringing Monday and Tuesday’s highs back into the low 70s.

The bad news? Most pools still won’t be open for another week.


  • FRIDAY NIGHT: Fair skies, muggy. Suburbs will see lows in the 60s, low to mid 70s closer to D.C.
  • SATURDAY: Mostly sunny, hot and humid. Highs in the low to mid 90s.
  • SUNDAY: Partly cloudy, hot and humid. Storms, possibly severe, later in the day. Highs in the lower 90s.
  • MONDAY: Showers, much cooler. Highs in the upper 60s to lower 70s.
  • TUESDAY: Possible showers. Highs in the low to mid 70s.
Matthew Delaney

Matt Delaney is a digital web writer/editor who joined WTOP in 2020.

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