Highs in mid-90s, heat index near 100 forecast Wednesday

The heat is expected to ratchet up further in Baltimore on Wednesday, with highs in the upper 90s and the heat index reaching around 100 degrees, according to the National Weather Service.

Overnight lows dropped into the upper 60s after storms passed through Tuesday night, cooler than the upper 70s that had been predicted. Sunshine through partly cloudy skies was forecast to bring temperatures above 90 degrees by midday.

Dew points were expected in the upper 60s, making the air feel thick and moist and bringing the heat index to 100 degrees or higher in the afternoon. That could bring a chance of afternoon thunderstorms. Just before 5 p.m. the National Weather Service issued a severe thunderstorm warning for central Maryland until 5:30 p.m. Storm was spotted near Ellicott City that could produce wind gusts to 60 mph and quarter-size hail.

According to the Storm Prediction Center, the strongest risks for Maryland are severe winds and hail, with tornadoes less likely. A slight risk of severe weather extends from the upper Mississippi River valley to the mid-Atlantic and southern New England.

More of the same weather is forecast Thursday, with highs in the mid-90s and dew points in the lower 70s, bringing dewpoints as high as 103 degrees, according to the weather service. Thunderstorms are likely in the afternoon.

Friday could bring a dip in temperatures, to the low- to mid-80s, but little change in humidity, with more storms possible.

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