Heat relief? Hug the AC, or pray for thunder
If you're sick of this endless, 90-plus heat, there's not much for you to like in this week's forecast. High pressure over the western Atlantic - the infamous Bermuda High - will continue to drive hot, damp air into the region.
The only relief in sight will be modest chances for a thunderstorm, if you're lucky enough to be under one. Otherwise, you'll have to stick close to your air conditioner, if you're lucky enough to have one. Or, take a cool shower.
The coolest day in the seven-day forecast for BWI won't come until Sunday. And by "cool" we mean perhaps the first day ahead that might hang below 90 degrees. Like, 89.
And the best chance for a shower or thunderstorm will come Tuesday night, when the probabilities rise to a whopping 40 percent.
The brutal reality is that we are stuck in a persistent pattern of hot weather. When the mercury tops 90 today it will mark the 33rd day of 2010 with a high of 90 degrees or more.
The average number of 90-plus days for an entire year is 29.4 days. The record is 54 days, in 1988. Anyone care to submit guesses on the total for 2010? I'll keep a tally and the reader coming closest by, say, Oct. 15 will win some cheap Sun swag.)
Fully half of June (16 days) and half of July so far (12 days, counting Monday) have reached 90 or more. Five have reached triple digits.
"Region is locked under a warm, moist air mass," forecasters said in this morning's discussion from Sterling. "There'll be a fair amount of cloud cover today. But when breaks develop, it will feel pretty uncomfortable. Heat indices this afternoon come in at just over 100 [degrees] for CD/Balt."
But it doesn't matter. We're used to it, they say: "Given acclimation has occurred by now, no heat advisory will be issued."
After all, we haven't had a below-average day since July 3. And, we haven't failed to break 80 since June 9.
The average temperature at BWI so far this month is 80.7 degrees (through Sunday), which is 4.5 degrees warmer than the long-term average. If it were to hold at that number through the end of the month, this would rank as the third-hottest July since the city's official weather station moved to the airport in 1950. Only 1955 (81.2 degrees) and 1995 (81.5 degrees) were hotter.
But, we have two weeks left to sweat through, and while this one looks like it will remain hot, maybe next week will bring us real relief.
How are you staying cool this week? In an air-conditioned office like me? At the beach? (Don't I wish.) Leave us a comment, or a stay-cool tip.
(SUN PHOTOS: Top: Karl Merton Ferron, July 2010/ Bottom: Barbara Haddock Taylor, May 2010)