Hot start to a record-breaking day
Here's the rundown on temperatures and Heat Indices for the region at 10 a.m.:
BWI: Temperature 96 degrees + dew point 76 degrees = Heat Index 109 degrees
Md. Science Center: Temperature 97 + dew point 76 = Heat Index 111 degrees.
The Sun: Temperature 97 degrees + dew point (not real reliable) 84 degrees = Heat Index 132 degrees.
I don't think there's much doubt that BWI will be setting a new daily heat record for Baltimore today. The hottest July 22 on the books for Baltimore reached 101 degrees, in 1957. We're just 5 degrees short of that mark at 10 a.m. and there's no rain in sight today. So I'd bet we will knock that record down this afternoon.
Speaking of records, the PJM Interconnection - the regional power grid that includes Maryland and parts of 12 other states plus the District of Columbia - reported this morning that the region set a new record Thursday for power consumption. We soaked up 158,450 megawatts of electricity. One megawatt is enough to power about 1,000 homes.
The previous record was set Aug. 2, 2006. After some adjustments for changes in the grid since then, PJM estimates the 2006 peak would have been 158,258 megawatts.
The demand for power to keep things cool across the region was met "without problems," the agency said. "Our efforts in fine-tuning how we forecast electricity demand and plan transmission improvements are paying big dividends for our system operations," said Michael Kormos, senior VP for operations.
(PHOTOT: Vicki Valerio, Philadelphia Inquirer, 2003)