Downtown Baltimore could see high temperatures of 99 to 102 degrees over the next three days, according to the National Weather Service. Conditions at BWI-Marshall Airport won't be detectably better, with forecast highs of 99 to 101 degrees. High dew points will help drive the Misery Index beyond 110 degrees.
The weather service has issued Excessive Heat Warnings for the entire state east of Allegany County on Thursday and Friday afternoons, with Watches on the Lower Eastern Shore. "The excessive heat will likely carry over into the weekend as well," forecasters said.
The Excessive Heat Warning means the combination of hot temperatures and high humidity will create conditions where heat-related illnesses are likely. Anyone who needs to be outdoors will need to drink plenty of fluids. We're all going to be better off indoors, with air conditioning. And if you have any friends, relatives or neighbors trying to cope without AC, please do invite them to your place to cool off, or help them get to the mall or one of the area's cooling centers.
Air pollution alerts, Code Red heat alerts in the city ... expect them all to be in force through Saturday. This is going to be brutal. Even Garrett County is finally under a Heat Advisory for Thursday, with Heat Index values expected to reach 100 to 103 degrees on temperatures in the low 90s.
It doesn't look like we'll set a new record for Baltimore on Thursday. The record high on a July 21 is 104 degrees, set downtown in 1930. The airport is now the official station of record for the city, and the forecast high there is only 99 degrees. Thursday's forecast high downtown is 99 degrees.
Friday may be a different story. The Baltimore record for a July 22 is 101 degrees, set in 1957. The forecast high for the airport is also 101 degrees. So, they're actually predicting a tied record for Friday.
On Saturday, the record for the date is 102 degrees, set in 1991, with an airport forecast of 100 degrees. The downtown forecast calls for another day of 102-degree misery.
The week is certainly living up to its statistics. It's the hottest of the year, on average. But these highs are 10 degrees or more above the norms.
Relief, of a sort, comes Sunday as highs slip back into the 90s. But we'll have to wait until another cold front goes by early next week before we can expect more seasonable highs, in the upper 80s.
Oh. The photo? Just trying to help cool you off.
(SUN PHOTO: Karl Merton Ferron, Feb. 11, 2010)