The weather grew hot and humid Wednesday as the D.C. area was under a heat advisory. Thursday could at least seem worse.
A June 8 record high of 99 degrees was set Wednesday, and the heat index reached 107, the highest it has been so far this year. But the day started out more pleasant.
Thursday will start hot and humid, and the humidity could be worse than Wednesday. Again, the area will be under a heat advisory from noon until 8 p.m. Thursday. Expect highs to once again approach 100 but not likely reach the record for June 9 of 102 degrees set in 1874.
We also will be under a Code Orange air quality rating again Thursday, meaning pollution levels will be harmful to children, older adults and anyone with a respiratory or heart condition.
We could get a break late in the day as a cold front approaches and could bring some showers and thunderstorms by late evening, NBC Washington meteorologist Doug Kammerer said. The chance of rain increases Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Because of the heat and poor air quality in the forecast, D.C. trash and recycling crews will begin collection an hour earlier -- at 6 a.m. -- on Thursday. Residents can put their trash out Wednesday night to avoid disturbing their usual morning routines.
The heat is being blamed for two deaths in Maryland already this year. A Cecil County man and an Anne Arundel County woman, both 65 or older, died within the past two weeks from excess heat exposure, according to the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. Both victims had underlying medical conditions.
The DHMH said that heatstroke and heat exhaustion can develop from the hot and humid conditions typically associated with D.C.-area summers.
Heatstroke is a serious illness characterized by a body temperature greater then 105 degrees. Symptoms may include dry red skin, convulsions, disorientation, delirium and coma. Onset of heatstroke can be rapid: a person can go from feeling apparently well to a seriously ill condition within minutes. Treatment of heatstroke involves the rapid lowering of body temperature, using a cool bath or wet towels. A heatstroke victim should be kept in a cool area; emergency medical care should be obtained by dialing 911.
Heat exhaustion is a milder form of heatstroke that may develop due to a combination of several days with high temperatures and dehydration in an individual. Signs of heat exhaustion include extreme weakness, muscle cramps, nausea, or headache. Victims may also vomit or faint. Heat exhaustion is treated with plenty of liquids and rest in a cool, shaded area. Those on a low-sodium diet or with other health problems should contact a doctor.
Hot weather tips from the DHMH:
- Drink plenty of fluids such as water and fruit juices to prevent dehydration -- be aware that alcohol can impair the body's sweat mechanism, as can fairly common medications such as antihistamines and diuretics;
- Wear loose-fitting, lightweight, and light-colored clothes;
- Avoid direct sunlight by staying in the shade or by wearing sunscreen, a hat and sunglasses;
- When possible, stay in air-conditioned areas. If your home is not air-conditioned, consider a visit to a shopping mall or public library. Contact your local health department to see if there are cooling shelters open in your area;
- NEVER leave pets or young children in a car, even with the windows cracked;
- Check on elderly relatives or neighbors at least daily; and
- Take it easy when outdoors. Athletes and those who work outdoors should take short breaks when feeling fatigued. Schedule physical activity during the morning or evening when it is cooler.
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