Code Red heat advisory continues Friday through Artscape weekend

Baltimore’s Code Red heat advisory continues today through the weekend as Baltimore kicks off Artscape, the nation’s largest free arts festival.

Temperatures in the high 90s are forecasted for the next few days. The National Weather Service predicts a high of 98 degrees Friday, with the heat index forecast to approach 107 degrees. On Saturday, the high is near 95 degrees, with heat index values as high as 100. And temperatures could reach as high as 95 degrees on Sunday.

According to the weather service, “the combination of high temperatures and high humidity will create a situation in which heat illnesses are possible.”

Baltimore Health Commissioner Dr. Leana Wen issued the Code Red heat advisory that went into effect Thursday. The health department is urging people to stay safe when they’re out in the heat.

“Heat is a silent killer and a public health threat, particularly for the young, the elderly and those in our city who are the most vulnerable,” Wen said in a statement.

Wen can issue a Code Red alert when the heat reaches a level that put people’s lives and health at risk. Last summer, five people died of heat-related causes in the city and the health department declared eight Code Red days.

Cooling centers will be open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Locations are listed on the health department’s website.

The Baltimore City Recreation and Parks will also extend pool hours.

Wen recommends drinking water, while avoiding alcohol and caffeine. She urged people to check in on elderly and sick neighbors, refrain from leaving pets or children alone in cars and look out for signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke.

“As Baltimore prepares for a fun weekend with one of the nation’s largest free arts festivals,” Wen said, “it is important for all residents to protect against hyperthermia and dehydration.”

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