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Official CWG proclamation: Spring is over and summer’s coming in with a bang

Find some shade. (Joe Flood)
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It’s been a slow death, but spring has finally given up the ghost. An intense heat wave looms, and we’re not seeing those chilly, springlike days in the foreseeable future.

With the sun nearing its highest angle in the sky, it’s time to declare that summer has officially arrived. And boy, is it coming in with a bang.

When one season ends and another begins is certainly up to interpretation. At the Capital Weather Gang, we tend to think summer has started when we don’t see the potential for two or more days in a row with highs below 70. Ideally, we like to see the forecast hit at least 80 degrees in the weeks to come.

Looking at the long-range pattern, that’s what we’re seeing. High pressure is going to dominate the eastern United States through at least next week. Throughout spring, we saw high pressure hover over the West and low pressure stagnate in the East. It looks like that’s going to flip (at least for a little while) and temperatures are going to respond by skyrocketing into the 90s next week.

The forecast models continue to predict highs in the 90s beginning Sunday and lasting through at least Wednesday. Some of the forecasts have suggested they will continue through next Friday. The early-week heat will challenge records. Here’s where they stand in Washington:

Record highs in D.C.
Monday — 95 degrees
Tuesday — 96 degrees
Wednesday — 98 degrees

On top of the heat, the humidity will be high, which is going to make things feel pretty ripe. Any dew point below 60 degrees can be considered dry, or at least comfortable. Next week, the dew point is going to climb into the mid-70s (BLEH), which is downright muggy.

If you combine the two — temperature and humidity — you get heat indexes that are well into the mid-to-upper 90s.

Heat index forecast
Monday — 97 degrees
Tuesday — 98 degrees
Wednesday — 98 degrees
Thursday — 95 degrees
Friday — 93 degrees

Forecast models suggest the heat wave will break later next week, so the weekend may end up fairly comfortable.

During a heat wave the body has to work harder to maintain a normal body temperature. Here are five facts to keep in mind when dealing with intense heat. (Video: Claritza Jimenez/The Washington Post)