More rain and hot weather is expected Friday after some parts of the Baltimore metro region saw thunderstorms and hail Thursday afternoon as record heat starts to cool.
The late summer heat wave that struck over Labor Day weekend is expected to cool off after the next few days of rainfall, which began with scattered storms Thursday afternoon. Highs were forecast to remain in the 90s Friday amid the rainy weather, which could last through Monday, prompting the Baltimore City Health Department to extend its Code Red Extreme Heat Alert through Friday.
Large hail was reported throughout north-central Baltimore County on Thursday afternoon when the first storm clouds appeared overhead since the heat wave took hold, according to the National Weather Service. Heavy storm winds knocked over trees in Harford County, the service said.
Storms are expected to begin again Friday afternoon, amid a forecast for 92-degree highs. Temperatures are expected to drop throughout the rainy weekend, with highs in the upper 80s predicted for Saturday, and the lower 80s Sunday.
During the city’s extreme heat alert, cooling centers will be open throughout the city providing air conditioning and drinks of cold water. A map of cooling centers can be found here.
Residents concerned about vulnerable neighbors who are suffering from the heat are encouraged to call 311 for help.
Along with the cooling centers in Baltimore City, Harford County Public Library branches are serving as cooling centers Tuesday through Thursday.
A ridge of high pressure directing air downward combined with offshore flow and uninterrupted sunshine is causing the record-breaking heat in a large swath of the U.S., from the East Coast to the Midwest and Southern Plains, said Brian LaSorsa, a meteorologist at the weather service office.
Temperatures soared to the high 90s in the Baltimore area over the weekend, with Sunday’s high of 98 degrees beating by 1 degree the previous Sept. 3 record set in 1898, according to the National Weather Service.
Monday was the hottest Labor Day in the Baltimore area since the holiday’s inception, with highs of 99 degrees recorded at BWI Marshall outpacing 98-degree temperatures there Sept. 1, 1980, and also beating the Sept. 4 record of 96 degrees. And Tuesday’s heat — recorded at 99 degrees at the airport — broke the record for Sept. 5 previously held by a 96-degree day in 1954.
The 100-degree temperature recorded at the airport Wednesday surpassed the 98-degree record set in 1983 for the hottest Sept. 6 temperature at BWI. The highest temperature logged for the month of September in Baltimore was 101 degrees on Sept. 7, 1881.