Perhaps not until Friday, the last workday of June, did Washington get hot enough to justify calling the current string of 90-degree temperatures an authentic heat wave.

Readings had been rising slowly over the three previous days, from 90, to 91 and 92. (Three successive days of 90 or above are commonly called a heat wave.)

But until Friday, this one may have seemed slightly feeble, lacking the totality of scorch or swelter in which so many of us take perverse pride. However, at 3:38 p.m. Friday, the mercury at Reagan National Airport, site of Washington’s official readings, touched 95 degrees.

That reading may have caused many veterans of summertime Washington to sigh with a certain sort of relief, recognizing that summer was here again, and that we were going deep into it.


Summer heat often brings summer storms, which proved powerful Friday in some places.


As dark clouds loomed, pedestrians in downtown Washington could hear thunder and see brilliant lightning in the distance.

In Prince George’s County, the fire department cited a National Weather Service report of a microburst in the Suitland area.

Producing winds of up to 70 mph, it toppled both trees and telephone poles, the fire department said, but no injuries were reported.

In the District, on Route 395 in Southwest, two D.C. police officers appeared to defy the elements, said Will Adams, who was on the road himself.

He said he heard sirens, and saw a car stopped on the other side of the road from him.


He said he saw two officers get ouf of their car. He thought they might have pulled over the halted car for an infraction.

One of the officers went to the car and talked to the woman inside. From the looks of things, Adams said, he surmised that the woman had not been pulled over. Apparently, the officers had come upon a stalled car, he said.

He said the second officer stopped traffic in the vicinity. The first officer, unaided in the simmering heat, began pushing the stalled car toward a presumably safer place.

It struck him, he said, as an “extraordinary act of service.”