The Washington Post

Heat wave and poor air quality grip East Coast

Temperatures at 11 a.m. ET Wednesday. Many regions - shaded in dark red - had already exceeded 85 degrees in the mid-Atlantic and Tennesse Valley. (Unisys Weather) reports the following other cities set record highs: Madison (96), Milwaukee (97), Green Bay (96), Wichita (101), St. Louis (96) and Memphis (98).

Today, the dome of hot air shifts East, with record heat a possibility from the Ohio Valley into the mid-Atlantic and Northeast (see useful interactive maps at showing where record highs are within reach today and Thursday). Philadelphia and New York City may threaten existing records of 95 degrees. And Washington, D.C. and Baltimore may also approach record highs of 98 and 97 (from 1999).


Reports “Air quality on Thursday is expected to be Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups (Code Orange or over 100 on the Air Quality Index) in more than 80 cities including Baton Rouge, La., Indianapolis, Detroit, Nashville, Tenn., Columbus, Ohio, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Newark, N.J., Richmond, Va., and Atlanta.” It advises children, older adults and other sensitive groups (such as those with asthma or respiratory disease) cut back on strenuous activity.

Some heat safety tips:

* The best protection from heat is air-conditioned environments

* If you must be outside, drink plenty of water and wear light colored, loose fitting clothing. Take it easy.

* Never leave a child or pet unattended in a parked car

* Check on older adults and the sick to make sure they are in cool environments

Let’s conclude with a cool image: Snow on Independence Pass coming into Aspen Snowmass in Colorado

Jason is the Washington Post’s weather editor and Capital Weather Gang's chief meteorologist. He earned a master's degree in atmospheric science, and spent 10 years as a climate change science analyst for the U.S. government. He holds the Digital Seal of Approval from the National Weather Association.


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