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Record Setting Heat Possible Through Thursday

Matt Ross @ 12:00 AM

Today's high temp as of 5pm:979698
Record for the day (year):99 (2002)100 (1980)99 (1933)

Today will be the hottest day of the year so far. The entire metro area is under an Excessive Heat Warning from Noon today through Thursday evening.

Today and Tonight

Forecast Confidence: HighOppressive. Today we will experience the hottest weather in 4 years. Afternoon Highs will be 98 to 101 degrees under hazy sunshine. Stifling humidity will make it feel even hotter with heat indices nearing or exceeding 110 degrees. As Jason mentioned yesterday, we have a 50/50 chance of tying or beating the record high of 99 degrees set in 2002. Tonight will bring absolutely no relief. With humidity levels so high, temperatures will not fall very far. Expect lows around 76 in the suburbs and 79-82 in the city.

It bears repeating what Jason said yesterday about the danger of the overnight hours in a heat wave. Indoor temps have very little opportunity to fall, so those without A/C are exposed to extremely uncomfortable conditions that could pose a health risk.

Tomorrow and Thursday

Forecast Confidence: High100 Degrees Probable Tomorrow. Tomorrow will likely be the peak of the heat wave. Afternoon highs will be between 99 and 102 degrees with heat indices exceeding 110. I will bump up Jason's 40% possibility of tying/breaking the 2002 record of 100 degrees to 50/50. After another oppressive overnight, we will see no relief on Thursday as temps reach the upper 90s.

We will "cool" down to our standard heat and humidity as we head into the weekend. Refer to Jason's column yesterday for details.

Consecutive 100 Degree Days

Courtesy of Woody from the National Weather Service in Sterling, our longest streak of consecutive 100 degree days was 4 set back in 1930. During a 3 week stretch that commenced with the streak, DC hit 100 degrees or higher a Phoenix-like 11 times. We have had 3 100 degree days in a row 3 times, and 2 multiple times, the last time being 1999. I think we have a 1 in 3 chance of getting 2 consecutive days of 100 degree readings (most likely Tue/Wed), and a 20% shot at getting 3 in a row.

Brief July Recap

Three heat spells this month (Beginning, Middle, End), each increasing in intensity, have helped push July to over 1 degree above normal. We hit or exceeded 90 degrees 14 times which is slightly above average for July. In our Summer Outlook issued in May, we called for July to finish normal with 8-12 90 degree days. While we did underestimate the heat, we weren't too far off. If we flipped June and July, we would have done great with temps, but nevertheless we avert a bust and get a B for July. I have deep concerns about the below normal call for August but the towel isn't getting thrown in yet. We will revisit in 31 days and recap the whole summer.

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