After a brief reprieve from the heat on Tuesday, the rest of the week will bring hotter temperatures to the Baltimore region and a chance of rain.
Temperatures reached a high of only 81 degrees Tuesday. Only one previous day this month had a high lower than 82 — it reached just 76 on July 9 — and the highs every day since July 18 had been in the 90s, including 98 on Saturday.
The high on Wednesday is expected to be near 89 with a chance of showers and thunderstorms in the afternoon. Thursday is expected to reach 92, with a high near 88 on Friday.
Forecasts show partly cloudy skies and a chance of precipitation through Friday.
Temperatures this week are expected to remain below the highs seen last weekend and on Monday, which prompted local authorities to issue health warnings to residents.
While the Maryland Department of the Environment issued a yellow or moderate Air Quality Index warning for the entire state Monday, Baltimore City’s health department issued a Code Red Extreme Heat Alert, originally for Thursday through Sunday but extended through Monday.
The city health commissioner may declare a code red during periods of heat that are severe enough to present a substantial threat to the life or health of vulnerable Baltimore residents.
“Excessive heat is the leading weather-related killer in the United States. The effects of extreme heat are exacerbated in urban areas, especially when combined with high humidity and poor air quality,” Baltimore City Health Commissioner Dr. Letitia Dzirasa said in a news release last week. “Extreme heat is particularly dangerous for young children, older adults, and those with chronic medical conditions. I encourage all residents to take the necessary steps to protect themselves as well as their families, neighbors, and pets.”
The heat wave this past weekend brought a high of 96 on Friday and continued into Sunday with a high of 97 and a heat index value that reached 103. Heat index takes into account temperature and relative humidity and is used as an indication of the apparent temperature as it would be felt by a person outdoors.
Essentially, Brian LaSorsa, a meteorologist for NWS, explained, the more humidity in the air, the longer it takes for people to dry and cool off, which leads them to feeling hotter than the actual temperature.
Before this weekend, the area’s high temperature this year had been 96, on May 31, June 17 and July 1. Baltimore’s highest July temperature on record was 107 degrees in 1936, according to the weather service.
Baltimore Sun reporter Ashley Barrientos contributed to this article.