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DC faces the hottest weather so far this year on Friday, and wait until next week

This spring has been warmer than normal in the Washington DC area, but we have largely avoided the extreme heat. Since a record-breaking hot day in early May, temperatures have never reached 90 degrees.

This is about to change and potentially in a big way.

We should return to 90 degrees on Thursday. Then we could top 95 degrees on Friday, the highest so far this year.

But these two days may just be an aperitif. Next week is expected to be extremely hot and the District could reach 100 degrees for the first time since 2016. This could also mark the start of a prolonged period of unseasonably warm weather, similar to what we experienced during some of our most brutal summers.

Once you get to mid-June, periods of comfortable weather only last a limited time in the Washington, DC area, especially in this era of human-caused climate change. Take advantage of the rather mild weather we are experiencing at the start of the week while it lasts.

The National Weather Service’s Climate Prediction Center highlights the risk of excessive heat along much of the Interstate 95 corridor from Richmond to Boston next week, starting about Tuesday and continuing through June 24 at least.

A mix of numerous computer model projections shows a pair of 90-degree temperatures Thursday and Friday this week, then a long string of highs in the mid-90s starting next week. These projections could be conservative.

Some of the most reliable individual computer models predict temperatures near and above 100 by the middle of next week — although they sometimes overestimate the magnitude of the heat.

For the hot weather on Thursday and Friday, humidity will increase but is not expected to reach oppressive levels. But that might not be the case next week.

Weather conditions can bring not only heat, but also very high humidity levels. Heat indices — a measure of how hot one feels taking into account humidity — could approach or even exceed 105. That would trigger heat advisories or even excessive heat warnings for the area.

Why dangerous, record heat is possible

Models predict that the heat dome about to build over the Washington area will reach an intensity that has been associated with maximum temperatures of around 100 degrees in the past. In the second half of June, these peaks reach a record level.

Such extreme heat would pose risks to vulnerable groups such as outdoor workers, the homeless, the elderly and anyone without adequate means to stay cool and hydrated. Low temperatures overnight will also likely remain very warm, exacerbating the risks for anyone without access to air conditioning.

Once next week’s heat wave begins, model forecasts don’t predict an obvious end.

Projections beyond next week show a continuation of warmer than normal weather across much of the lower 48 states.

The summer of 2016, the last to post triple-digit highs in Washington, D.C., began with relatively pleasant weather and just one 90-degree day on that date — as it did this year. It ended up being the third hottest on record. Like this year, it also followed an El Niño winter.

High temperatures reached at least 90 degrees on 58 days, including the most days on record between July and August. It reached at least 100 on four days, once in late July and three times in mid-August.

Our own Summer Outlook from the Capital Weather Gang identified 2016 as a summer that could share characteristics with this one.

Jason Samenow contributed to this report.

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News Source : www.washingtonpost.com

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