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Heat index approaching 100 degrees Monday afternoon

The heat index reached the upper 90s by late afternoon Monday, not quite as hot as Sunday but still enough to prompt authorities to issue an air quality alert for the region and open cooling centers.

Temperatures broke into the 90s by noon, reaching 93 degrees at 3 p.m. at Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport. Factoring in humidity, the heat index was as hot as 98 degrees.

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Officials canceled summer programs at Baltimore public schools Monday due to the heat and a lack of air conditioning.

The Baltimore health department issued a heat advisory through Monday and said five cooling centers and six senior centers will open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Monday. Information on cooling center locations can be found online at health.baltimorecity.gov.

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The Maryland Department of the Environment issued a "Code Orange Air Quality Alert" for Monday. Air pollution concentrations within the region could become unhealthy for sensitive groups, including children, the elderly and people with asthma, heart or lung disease. Officials urged those groups to avoid strenuous activity outdoors.

The following cooling centers will be open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Monday:

•Northern Community Action Center, 5225 York Road

•Southern Community Action Center, 606 Cherry Hill Road (inside the shopping center 2nd floor, note this location will close at 3 p.m. on Sunday)

•Northwest Community Action Center, 3939 Reisterstown Road

•Southeastern Community Action Center, 3411 Bank St.

•Eastern Community Action Center, 1400 E. Federal St.

The following senior centers will be open during a Code Red Heat Alert from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Monday:

•Waxter Center for Senior Citizens, 1000 Cathedral St.

•Oliver Center, 1700 Gay St.

•Sandtown-Winchester Senior Center, 1601 N. Baker St.

•Hatton Center, 2825 Fait Ave.

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•John Booth, 2601 E. Baltimore St.

•Zeta Center, 4501 Reisterstown Road

Little relief is expected Tuesday, with temperatures are expected to reach the mid 90s.

The heat and any rain should let up a bit by mid-week, the weather service said. Skies are expected to be mostly sunny and clear with temperatures in the mid-80s Wednesday through next weekend.

Temperatures reached 97 degrees in Baltimore Sunday, the hottest day in two years. The last time temperatures reached 97 degrees at Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport was July 18, 2013. The hottest July 19 on record was 103 degrees in 1930.

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