You'd probably give anything right now to escape the scorching, sticky heat. Fortunately, relief is on the way — but it will come in the form of heavy rain and storms.
The heat index soared to near 105° on Wednesday, hotter than any day so far this summer, Storm Team4 says.
A severe thunderstorm watch is in effect for Allegany, Carroll, Frederick and Washington counties in Maryland as well as the city of Winchester and Clarke and Frederick counties in Virginia until 10 p.m.
On Thursday, storms and heavy rain will move through in the afternoon and evening with some heavy rain into Friday morning. A flash flood watch is in effect for the D.C. area as up to 4 inches of rain are possible.
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Localized flooding is possible due to rainfall that could total between 1 and 2 inches regionwide on Thursday.
The clouds and rain should hold afternoon highs in the 70s to around 80°.
Independence Day weekend will bring a chance of rain both days but no washouts in the D.C. area — the coastal beaches will likely have more wet weather than the DMV, Storm Team4 says.
Fourth of July Weekend Weather Forecast for DC Area
You’ll want to plan around rain in the forecast for Independence Day weekend, but temperatures will be much more friendly for outdoor activities.
Saturday, expect a cloudy start and lingering showers amid highs about 75° to 80°.
Sunday — July 4 — looks even better, with more sun, lower rain chances and highs around 80°. Any showers should clear up in time for fireworks, Storm Team4 says.
The District declared a heat emergency through Wednesday.
Drink extra water, stay out of the sun when possible and try to walk your dog in grassy areas rather than hot pavement.
Cooling centers are open in D.C. through Wednesday after officials implemented the District’s Heat Emergency Plan. Go here to find a list of the facilities.
D.C. opens cooling centers when the temperature or heat index is forecast to reach 95 degrees.
The city of Alexandria has also opened cooling centers. Here's where to find them and help for seniors.
If you’re walking your dog, be aware of how hot asphalt gets. It takes only 60 seconds to burn a dog’s paws. With an 86 degree temperature, the asphalt reaches 135 degrees, Storm Team4 Meteorologist Lauryn Ricketts said.
Find other tips to cope with extreme heat online here.
Stay with Storm Team4 and NBC Washington for more details on the forecast.