On Thursday afternoon, temperatures reached 91 degrees at Baltimore’s point of record — hot, for sure, but much cooler than Wednesday’s 98-degree reading at Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport.
So why does it still feel so scorching?
Meteorologists term it “oppressive” humidity. Dew points hovered in the mid- to upper 70s throughout the day, meaning that is the temperature to which the air would have to cool for water vapor to condense.
The air feels comfortable and dry at dew points of up to about 55 degrees. It can feel uncomfortable as dew points rise into the 60s, and it can get downright dangerous for some people when it surpasses 70 degrees.
High levels of moisture in the air make it harder for the human body to regulate heat, because it prevents sweat from evaporating easily. Sweating allows the body to transfer heat into the air.
So, with dew points in the 70s on Thursday, temperatures in the lower 90s still felt like the low triple digits.
Dew points are forecast to remain elevated Friday and through the weekend, when temperatures could hit 100 degrees in Baltimore for the first time in three years. Meteorologists warn that could make it feel as hot as 115 degrees.