Our first real taste of brutal summer heat arrived right on time for the first day of astronomical summer. Highs that have made it into the mid-and-upper 90s (likely just shy of a record 99 at National) are of course well above normal for the date, if not particularly unheard of for this area. If you aren’t a fan of it, you might want to lock yourself in an air conditioned building at least through tomorrow. Unfortunately, we’ve got more heat advisories and potentially unhealthy conditions to deal with.
Through Tonight: If you haven’t been out, prepare to be heat blasted as you exit the office or wherever you may be. Temperatures only slowly drop toward 90 this evening. As the sun sets, we get some relief but not a lot. With slackening winds, dew points rise back into the 70s, meaning we’re rather sultry, probably through midnight and beyond! Lows are hardly low, with readings ultimately falling to the lower 70s in cool spots and closer to 80 downtown.
Tomorrow (Thursday): Hot, humid, lots of sun! With a bit warmer of a start, we should be able to reach temps a notch higher than today. Plan on high temperatures ranging from the mid-90s to near 100 degrees, with readings more likely on the high end of that scale. Daily records should be in play across the area, with D.C.’s being 98 for the high and 76 for the warmest low.
Minnesota/Wisconsin flooding: Parts of northern Minnesota and Wisconsin, Duluth, MN included, have seen 5-10” of rain in the last 24 hours, much of that coming in short bursts of intense activity. This has led to flooding unlike any seen in decades across the area. A state of emergency has been declared for Duluth, where numerous streets have been washed out as well as homes and businesses flooded. One hard hit location, the Duluth zoo, is reportedly 2/3rds under water, and sadly a number of animals drowned. Some more rain is possible in the area before a cold front clears through later today.
Pollen update: Susan Kosisky, of the US Army Centralized Allergen Extract Lab, reports: “Tree pollen is LOW (NAB range) at 5.11 grains/cubic meter, which is more moderate for local area trees. Grasses are LOW at 1.28 grains/cubic meter. Weed pollen is LOW at 1.92 grains/cubic meter. Mold spores are in the LOW range at 5427.11 spores/cubic meter.”