A heat advisory is in effect for most of the Baltimore area for the Fourth of July, with heat index values rising to 100 to 105 degrees potentially feeding afternoon storms.

Harford, Baltimore, Howard and Anne Arundel counties and Baltimore City are part of the heat advisory, issued by the National Weather Service. It will likely be an eighth day with highs in the 90s in the Baltimore area.

Meanwhile, BGE had restored power as of 9:45 a.m. Wednesday to 57,744 Howard County customers affected by the hurricane-like storm June 29. There are 5,219 homes and businesses still without power.

Howard County has five cooling stations open Wednesday. They are: Gary J. Arthur Community Center in Glenwood (9 p.m. close); Bain Center in Columbia (5 p.m. close); Ellicott City Senior Center (5 p.m. close); West Friendship Volunteer Fire Station (has showers, bring your own towels and toiletries, 9 p.m. close); Lisbon Volunteer Fire Department 10 p.m. close).


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The "Water Buffalo" is open until 8 p.m. at the Gary J. Arthur Community Center in Glenwood.

In the Baltimore region, 98,732 customers still are without power as of 9:45 a.m. Power had been restored to 588,454 customers, according to BGE.

Storm chances remain nebulous but real. The Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Okla., predicts disorganized storm systems east of the Mississippi creating scattered storms. Their severity will depend on heat conditions, the forecasters say, and with a lot of hot, humid air over Baltimore, that could mean some bad weather for fireworks shows.

The National Weather Service's Sterling, Va., office predicts a 50 percent chance of rain and a high of 98 degrees in Baltimore.

AccuWeather severe weather blogger Henry Margusity includes Maryland in a swath of the northeast facing the potential of heavy thunderstorms, while Foot's Forecast is calling for the best chance of isolated severe storms between 2 p.m. and 6 p.m.

Any storms that strike could disruptBaltimore Gas and Electric Co.efforts to restore power, utility officials warned.

Stan Rappaport of the Howard County Times contributed to this article.