‘Extremely dangerous heat’ descends on DC region

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The heat is on for yet another day in the D.C. region, with temperatures peaking in the high 90s in some areas Friday afternoon, but the “feels like” temperature has exceeded 100 degrees.

The rest of the weekend doesn’t look to be getting any cooler, with near-triple digit temperatures expected and heat index values approaching 110 degrees, posing a life-threatening risk and making for one of the hottest weekends since 2012.

Here’s what you need to know.

Ayanna Bennett, the director of DC Health, told WTOP on Thursday that this weekend’s predicted temperatures pose danger for everybody, regardless of age, health or other factors.

“No one is OK without some kind of cooling in temperatures that high,” she said.

The National Weather Service issued a heat advisory that will take effect from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, meaning “extremely dangerous heat conditions” are in store.

“Take precautions to avoid heat illness. If you don’t take precautions, you may become seriously ill or even die,” the weather service said.

NWS expects heat index values to top out between 105 and 107 degrees Saturday.

7News Chief Meteorologist Veronica Johnson added that the “dangerous heat” could cause a decrease in air quality as the air gets more humid.

Jurisdictions cancel some outdoor activities

The National Weather Service has issued a Heat Advisory in effect from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. for Saturday, June 22. 

Fairfax County 

Fairfax County has activated its Heat Plan for Saturday, June 22, and Sunday, June 23, in response to a National Weather Service Heat Advisory. When the heat plan is activated, cooling centers around the county will be available during normal operating hours for individuals needing relief. More information and resources can be found here. All outdoor activities scheduled on Fairfax County schools’ fields and courts Saturday are canceled.

Montgomery County Parks

Due to the Heat Emergency Alert all Montgomery County Recreation outdoor programs and activities are canceled this weekend, Saturday June 22 and Sunday, June 23. All Montgomery County Recreation indoor activities located in Montgomery County Public School facilities are also cancelled.

Montgomery County Recreation aquatic programming at outdoor pools will be held as scheduled this weekend, Saturday, June 22 and Sunday, June 23. Outdoor pools are expected to reach capacity. Make sure to check back here for updated capacity closures before heading out.

Prince George’s County Parks

M-NCPPC, Department of Parks and Recreation for Prince George’s County, has announced the cancellation of afternoon outdoor events scheduled for Saturday, June 22. In a statement, M-NCPPC, Department of Parks and Recreation said, “The health and safety of the community is the Department’s top priority.”

Tips to prevent heat illness

The best advice from the weather service: Drink plenty of fluids, stay in an air-conditioned room and out of the sun and check up on relatives and neighbors. Young children and pets should also never be left unattended in vehicles.

For those spending time or working outside, the recommendation is to move strenuous activity to early morning or evening, wear light and loose clothing and schedule frequent breaks inside.

D.C. and surrounding jurisdictions have issued their own versions of heat emergencies and are reminding residents how important it is to keep an eye on those susceptible to heat stroke.

“Pay attention so that you can tell that person is hot to the touch, or looking dizzy, or had some vomiting or decreased appetite,” Bennett said.

Not only should residents be on the lookout for heat-related illness symptoms, but they should be prepared to act quickly if they notice any, she added.

“Once you become ill, you can go from slightly ill to extremely ill in a very short amount of time,” Bennett said.

Where to cool off

For those who don’t have access to an air-conditioned room, D.C. offers places to beat the heat. Find a list and map of local cooling centers on the District’s interactive map.

The District’s spray parks and pools are open for residents to cool off on these hot days.

Montgomery County, Maryland, does not offer cooling centers, but the county said facilities such as libraries, along with recreation, senior and regional services centers are open to provide respite from the heat. Outdoor and indoor pools are open, but admission rates do apply.

In Fairfax County, Virginia, libraries, community centers, rec centers and human services regional offices also act as cooling centers. County homeless shelters act as cooling centers, too, for those experiencing homelessness.

A list of available cooling centers in Prince George’s County, Maryland, is available online, and in Loudoun County, Virginia, facilities normally open to the public also act as cooling centers.

For a list of all spray parks open in Arlington County, Virginia, click here.


Mainly Clear
Lows: 73-77
Winds: Southwest 5 mph
It will be a very warm summer night across the DMV with temperatures only falling into the 70s. It will be a moonlit sky with the full Strawberry moon rising at 8:53 p.m. and setting at 5:47 a.m. 


Sunny and Dangerously Hot
Highs: 96-100
Feels Like: 103-107
Plan for very high temperatures and humidity that could be dangerous for anyone without effective cooling and/or adequate hydration. The Heat Risk value Saturday is a Level 3 out of 4, so take the heat alerts seriously. There is also a slight chance for a pop-up shower or thunderstorm during the afternoon and/or evening. Any storms that develop could be strong to severe with such high heat and humidity. 

Sunny and Dangerously Hot
Highs: 96-100
Feels Like: 100-105
It will be another very hot and very humid day across the DMV. The Heat Risk value Sunday is a Level 4 out of 4, so take the heat alerts seriously. This level of rare and/or long-duration extreme heat with little to no overnight relief affects anyone without effective cooling and/or adequate hydration. There is also a slight chance for a pop-up shower or thunderstorm during the afternoon and/or evening. Any storms that develop could be strong to severe with such high heat and humidity.

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Ciara Wells

Ciara Wells is the Evening Digital Editor at WTOP. She is a graduate of American University where she studied journalism and Spanish. Before joining WTOP, she was the opinion team editor at a student publication and a content specialist at an HBCU in Detroit.

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