Place to be: Garrett or Allegany counties
Hard to find a pleasant forecast anywhere in Maryland today. There are Excessive Heat and Air Quality alerts up for the entire state on Thursday. Almost, anyway. If you head west, to Garrett or Allegany counties, you'll find the only alert-free zone in the Land of Pleasant Living.
The forecast for McHenry calls for a high today of 86 degrees, with lots of sunshine. The rest of the week looks pretty much the same, with just one poke higher to 90 degrees on Thursday.
For the rest of us ... Ick. The National Weather Service is calling for a high of 94 degrees at BWI-Marshall Airport today, with a Heat Index expected to reach 102 degrees. Add to that a Code Orange Air Quality Alert. That means toxic pollutants will likely rise to levels considered unhealthy for sensitive groups. Again.
And this will be the best day of the next three. The Excessive Heat Watch takes effect Thursday afternoon for all of Maryland east of Allegany County, including the Eastern Shore. It warns of high temperatures in the upper 90s to 100 degrees, and Heat Index values as high as 111 degrees.
There's a small (20 percent) chance for isolated showers and thunderstorms this afternoon. That might cool some of us down briefly. The chances of a shower continue into the early evening.
No chances on the boards for a shower on Thursday, as forecast temperatures rise to 99 degrees for BWI, and Heat Index values go to 109 degrees.
Friday's predicted high at the airport is 100 degrees (map), with a 30 percent chance of some scattered showers and storms. Saturday looks hot, too, with a high of 100 before the forecast highs drop back into the 90s on Sunday, and the 80s by Tuesday.