July redux ... heat and humidity return
If you liked July's weather in Central Maryland, you're going to love this week's forecast. The National Weather Service is calling for highs in the 90s all week - straight through next Sunday, if they're on target.
That would bring the total of 90-plus days this year to an even 50 by next Sunday, just four short of tying the record of 54 days, set in 1988. Once we reach the 90s today, the total will stand at 43. The 30-year average for BWI is 29.4 days.
Aug. (so far): 2
This week's heat is expected to rise to near 100 degrees by Wednesday, when the forecast high is 97. Rising humidity will push the Heat Index numbers into triple digits. Temperatures will approach record daily highs Tuesday and Wednesday. The best chance for matching a Baltimore record will be Tuesday, when the record is 100 degrees, set 110 years ago, in 1900.
This is killer weather. Please check on vulnerable friends, family and neighbors. Be sure they have access to air conditioning.
It gets worse. The Maryland Department of the Environment has declared a Code Orange Air Quality Alert for today, Monday, throughout Central and Southern Maryland - from Frederick County east to Cecil and south to St. Mary's:
"A CODE ORANGE AIR QUALITY ALERT MEANS THAT AIR POLLUTION
CONCENTRATIONS WITHIN THE REGION MAY BECOME UNHEALTHY FOR SENSITIVE
GROUPS. SENSITIVE GROUPS INCLUDE CHILDREN...PEOPLE SUFFERING FROM
ASTHMA... HEART DISEASE OR OTHER LUNG DISEASES...AND THE ELDERLY.
THE EFFECTS OF AIR POLLUTION CAN BE MINIMIZED BY AVOIDING STRENUOUS
ACTIVITY OR EXERCISE OUTDOORS.
"FOR MORE INFORMATION ON GROUND-LEVEL OZONE AND FINE
PARTICLES...VISIT WWW.AIRNOW.GOV "
Once again you can blame the heat on a persistent Bermuda high in the western Atlantic. Clockwise circulation around the high will be drawing Gulf heat and humidity into our region through the middle of the week.
Then we'll see the next "cold" front pass by, bringing us increased chances for some showers and thunderstorms late Wednesday and Thursday. But temperatures won't cool down much at all. Sterling is calling for highs in the low 90s from Friday through the weekend.
(SUN PHOTO: Karl Merton Ferron, 2004)