The first full day of summer turned up the heat another notch Thursday, with a high temperature of 100 degrees tying a record set in 1923.
Thermometers hit triple digits at Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport at 4:05 p.m. Cities along the East Coast set records as a massive high-pressure system continued to hang over the eastern third of the country.
It was the first time BWI had reached 100 degrees since July 29 of last year. On Wednesday, temperatures neared the mark but topped out at 98 degrees at the airport. The downtown high was 103 at the Maryland Science Center, the first time the thermometer had gone over 100 there since Aug. 1, 2011, when it hit 101.
For the second day in a row, local governments opened cooling centers and urged residents to check on neighbors and relatives. And things aren't expected to cool down immediately — a cool front moving behind the mass of hot air is expected to reach Maryland late Friday, with temperatures expected to remain in the mid-90s for the day.
Some power outages were reported around Baltimore City, including at the Circuit Court's Courthouse East and at the central Enoch Pratt Free Library, but they did not appear to be related to the heat. The grid held up to the strain of air conditioners, and Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. officials did not need to activate Peak Rewards, a power-saving program that cycles customers' air conditioners on the hottest summer days, BGE spokesman Rob Gould said.
Baltimore fire officials did not immediately have any statistics on the number of heat-related health emergencies reported.
Air-quality levels reached "Code Orange," unhealthy for sensitive populations, for all of Maryland east of Hagerstown.
The conditions prompted many to stay inside as much as possible. Walking down Main Street in Bel Air, Mark Meehan said he was only outside for a moment because he had walked to 7-Eleven to buy a soda.
"I run marathons, but when I went running yesterday, I could barely breathe," he said. "I went running this morning instead, and it was OK. But I'm not leaving the office today. It's hot."
The National Weather Service is forecasting a high of 94 degrees Friday, with a heat index of up to 100 degrees. Highs are expected to dip below 90 degrees by Saturday.
The Aegis contributed to this article.