Quick-moving storms brought some relief from the scorching heat, but took down trees and power lines in parts of the D.C. area — and lightning set fire to at least one house in Virginia.
Trees fell down and damaged homes throughout the region. About 4,000 Pepco customers are without power and 10,000 Dominion customers didn't have power in Northern Virginia at 11 p.m.
By 9:30 a.m. Thursday, over 2,000 cistomers were still in the dark. Dominion Energy says power will be restored on Thursday.
In Loudoun County, Virginia, a lightning strike set a house ablaze. No one was injured.
No thank you! Stay hydrated out there today. pic.twitter.com/l6bi1vLDuQ— Amelia Draper (@amelia_draper) July 17, 2019
Severe thunderstorm watches and warnings expired just before 7 p.m. for most of the region as storms began to taper off.
Temperatures reached the mid-90s in the afternoon, with high humidity making it feel even hotter. By 2:30 p.m., the heat index had reached 104 in D.C. To the south, it felt even hotter, with the heat index at Quantico reaching 113.
"The humidity is so high out there it just prevents the moisture from evaporating off your skin, and sweat evaporation is how the body cools itself," Storm Team4 Meteorologist Chuck Bell said.
Wear light-colored clothing, drink plenty of water and watch out for children, neighbors and pets. Outdoor pets should be provided with plenty of water and shade.
Thursday may be 2-3 degrees cooler with highs will be in the low 90s with a heat index of about 100 degrees. Afternoon thunderstorms are possible.
The end of the week and the weekend are forecast to bring escalating humidity, and excessive heat warnings are possible. It will feel more like 110 degrees on Friday, 110 on Saturday, and 103 on Sunday. If we hit 100 degrees on Saturday, it will be the first time since August 2016 the area has hit 100 degrees.
An excessive heat watch will take effect from Friday morning to Saturday evening, the weather service announced Wednesday night.
Bottom line: The forecast into the weekend is all about the heat, so it might be a good idea to make some plans indoors with the kids and keep pets in mind as well.
D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser activated the District's Heat Emergency Plan earlier this week.
Those in need of a place to cool down are encouraged to visit any library or recreation center during their normal business hours, or the Adams Place Day Center (2210 Adams Place NE). See a map of D.C.'s cooling centers here.
A hyperthermia hotline is available at 202-399-7093 for anyone seeking transportation to a cooling center for a resident experiencing homelessness, officials said.