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Heat Index Tops 100° as Extreme Heat Grips DC Area Again

The heat index climbed to more than 100° in some parts of the region Tuesday afternoon

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Swampy, steamy, soupy — no matter what you call it, Tuesday's hot and humid weather is not enjoyable.

Temperatures reached the mid to upper 90s under mostly sunny skies. Heat indexes rose to 102 in D.C. and Gaithersburg, Maryland, by the late afternoon, with many places close behind.

Officials activated the District's Heat Emergency Plan for Tuesday and Wednesday.

In northern Maryland and the eastern panhandle of West Virginia, there is a potential for the heat index to reach 105°. Heat advisories are in place for those areas.

Temperatures will fall into the 70s overnight with clear skies, but we'll be back to the mid to upper 90s Wednesday with plenty of sunshine.

Wednesday will be a touch hotter than Tuesday, with a heat index in the lower 100s to 105°. Again, there's a chance for a few thunderstorms to pop up Wednesday afternoon and evening.

Local impacts from Tropical Storm Elsa are expected later Thursday and early Friday.

The storm's effects will be minimal in the D.C. metro area, although some heavy rain is possible early Friday.

The beaches near Ocean City, Maryland, and along the Delaware coast are in line for more significant heavy rain, stronger winds and rough surf, Storm Team4 says.

Heat Safety Tips & Cooling Centers

When the temperature or heat index in the District is forecast to be 95° or higher, D.C.'s government implements its Heat Emergency Plan and activates cooling centers for residents to seek relief from the heat. You can find a list of D.C. cooling center locations at heat.dc.gov.

"Extreme heat is dangerous and can cause illnesses and death. As temperatures rise, you are encouraged to take an active role in your safety and take action to stay cool," D.C. officials warn.

They share these tips to stay safe and help protect others:

  • Stay indoors: Find places in the shade or with air conditioning to seek relief from the heat.
  • Check on your neighbors: Young children, senior citizens and those with access and functional needs are the most vulnerable.
  • If you or someone you know needs transportation to a cooling center, call the shelter hotline at 202-399-7093.
  • Drink plenty of water and wear lightweight, loose-fitting clothing.
  • Do not leave children or pets in vehicles. Vehicles can reach dangerous temperatures within 10 minutes.
  • For all animal emergencies, including animals left outside in extreme temperatures or in vehicles, call the Humane Rescue Alliance at 202-723-5730.
  • Keep pets indoors, walk them early in the morning, and give them plenty of water.
  • For additional tips on extreme heat, visit ready.dc.gov/extremeheat

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