From the ABC 7 Weather team

D.C. braces for a mini heat wave

June 19, 2012 - 10:46 AM
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The first official day of summer is coming Wednesday, and it'll definitely come in like a lion. High heat will make its presence felt in D.C. over the next few days. Here's what you can expect.

Temperatures only hit 71 degrees at Reagan National Airport on Monday. 71 degrees! That's 14 degrees lower than the normal high temperature! High heat and humidity will move into the D.C. area over the next few days. This is considered dangerous heat because temperatures in the mid to upper 90s and dew points around 70 will make the heat index around 100 degrees or greater. Be sure to take care and keep a watch of your family to make sure they stay safe through this period of hot weather. One last thing, don’t forget your pets! If you can, bring them inside or at least give them shelter and plenty of water. Check out some of the forecast high temperatures across the country today. Keep in mind tomorrow and Thursday will be the warmest for the D.C. area.

Check out the 850mb temperatures from the Plains to the east coast. This shows the extent of the heat, with the potential to be at 90 degrees or above through much of the country. Even Denver hit 100 degrees yesterday, breaking a record from 22 years ago. At least they had a dry heat, with a dew point of only 19 at the time.

850mb Temperatures across the U.S. Wednesday Evening

Now check the surface dew points for the country. You can tell exactly where the higher dew points are by looking for darker shades of green. Everywhere from the Plains to the East Coast will experience the heat and humidity combined which gives us the heat index. When heat index values are high, it can be downright dangerous to be outside for a prolonged period of time. If you want to go exercise, do it in the morning if possible. Age make a big difference in heat illness. Conditions that cause heat cramps in a 17 year old may result in heat exhaustion in a 40 year old, and heat stroke in a 60 year old given those same conditions. Just play it safe out there and take it easy if at all possible.

Dew points across the U.S. Wednesday evening
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