Baltimore temperature hits triple digits for first time since 2012; heat to continue through rest of week

Temperatures hit 100 degrees in Baltimore for the first time in four years on Monday.

Triple-digit temperatures baked Baltimore for the first time in four years Monday, and forecasters predicted highs in the 90s through the rest of the week.

Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport reached a high of 100 degrees at 1:36 p.m., according to the National Weather Service. It was the first time the region's point of record has hit that mark since July 18, 2012.

Heat stretched across most of the country, and the Mid-Atlantic endured some of the steamiest conditions. Record heat was reported at Dulles International Airport in Virginia, and heat indices as high as 110 degrees along the Baltimore-Washington corridor were surpassed only in the Southwest.

Health officials and community leaders worked to keep Baltimoreans cool. Scores of the elderly and children visited cooling centers and schools across the city for air-conditioned rest, lunches and bottled water.

Highs in the 90s are forecast every day into the weekend in what could be Baltimore's longest heat wave since the hot summer of 2012.

As the mercury climbed Monday afternoon, visiting 11-year-old Marty Glassman did his best to fight Mother Nature. But despite his best efforts, the sweltering midafternoon heat turned his chocolate snowball into a brown, sugary soup.

It was a taste of home for the Glassman family — Brian and Kristen, with their children Allison, Marty and Daniel. They moved from the area almost two years ago, but made sure to stop at the snowball stand at Falls and Joppa roads in Brooklandville, an old favorite.

But the weather was also a reminder of their new home.

"It's always like this in Florida," Brian Glassman said.

High pressure over the eastern United States has ushered in a flow of hot and humid air from the South and West for days. Highs in the 90s stretched from Atlanta to New York. It was hotter in Baltimore than in Miami on Monday.

The Inner Harbor hit 101 degrees. With the humidity and the hot breeze, the heat index was 110 degrees.

The Baltimore City Health Department issued a Code Red heat advisory, asking residents to be cautious when outdoors. Officials warned residents to watch for lightheadedness, nausea, confusion, and hot, dry or flushed skin, symptoms of heatstroke.

Health officials have recorded three heat-related deaths in Maryland this summer. There were six heat-related deaths last year. In 2012, there were 46.

In Baltimore, cooling centers offered residents bottles of water, meals of tuna and crackers, or the opportunity to just sit and watch television.

At the Sandtown-Winchester Senior Center, where the thermostat was set at a comparatively cool 77 degrees, program manager Mary Parker-Collins said she expected as many as 80 people to visit.

"When they get cabin fever, that's when we see people start to come out," Parker-Collins said.

Summer programs at Baltimore schools were canceled Monday, but free breakfasts and lunches were served to children from 8:30 a.m. to noon at 18 locations. City schools also announced that summer programs at Excel Academy, Harford Heights Elementary and Fort Worthington were to be canceled Tuesday because of air conditioning problems.

It was perhaps too hot even for that, said food service manager LaRhonda Brown, stationed at Harlem Park Elementary School. Trying to keep cool with fans blowing in nearly every room, she was still waiting for the kids to come in around 10 a.m.

"I have all the doors open, and the one window open," Brown said.

Tourists at the Inner Harbor appeared to waste little time moving between the air-conditioned interiors of the various attractions as noon approached.

Marcia Wiley, 70, said the hot weather made it a "hang loose day" on her visit from Massachusetts. She pointed to the blue "Sail Baltimore" flag flapping in the light breeze of the morning.

"Appreciate even the little movements of the flag," she said.

Laura Smith, 42, drank from a water bottle while resting in the shade.

"It's just a little bit cooler by the water," Smith said. "You take what you can get."

Mark Moody said he tries to stay aware of how his body is reacting. The 20-year-old said he is researching oysters in the harbor as part of the Harbor 2.0 project of the Waterfront Partnership of Baltimore.

"I'm used to working in the heat," he said. "Take breaks, go in the shade every now and then."

More triple-digit temperatures are not in the forecast, but Baltimoreans likely face several more days of heat.

The stationary front that is expected to remain over the Mid-Atlantic through the week could bring showers and storms, but is likely to maintain the flow of heat and humidity from the Southwest, said Mike Muccilli, a meteorologist at the Baltimore-Washington forecast office of the National Weather Service.

"We're expecting temperatures to remain in the 90s through the upcoming week," he said.

Monday was the fifth consecutive day to reach the 90s in Baltimore, and it could be another five days or more before any significant cool-down. The last time Baltimore experienced such sustained heat was a 12-day stretch from late June into early July of 2012.

Baltimore Sun reporter Maya Earls contributed to this article.

sdance@baltsun.com

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