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Weather’s withering heights
The Washington area is expecting a 10th straight day of temperatures above 90 degrees today after record-breaking heat that exceeded 100 degrees yesterday and prompted the electric-power grid operator for the Mid-Atlantic region to urge customers to conserve electricity.
Record high temperatures were set at all three major local airports in the afternoon yesterday, according to the National Weather Service.
At the top of the chart, Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport recorded a high of 102 degrees, which topped the 101-degree record set in 1930.
Temperatures at Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport reached 102 degrees, beating the record of 99 degrees set in 1980.
And, Washington Dulles International Airport recorded 101 degrees, which beat the 1980 record of 98 degrees.
Forecasters say lower temperatures are on the way.
The high temperatures today and tomorrow are expected to be in the mid-90s, and forecasters said a cold front moving into the area from Canada should bring temperatures down to the high 80s by the weekend.
Mr. Decarufel said storms also could bring some relief to parts of Western Maryland last night but probably will not reach the D.C. area.
“It’s not looking good right now, but there’s always hope,” he said about the 20 percent chance of showers tonight.
Meanwhile, PJM Interconnection, the electric-grid operator for 51 million people between the District and New York, said the surge in electricity demand for air conditioning yesterday forced it to cut voltage by 5 percent across the board.
The move is aimed at conserving dwindling power supplies and ensuring the area has enough electricity to meet “extremely high” demand during the heat wave. The company said most home and business appliances can operate with a 5 percent reduction in voltage, and most consumers won’t notice it.
PJM said electrical equipment generally is designed to operate at plus or minus 10 percent of normal 120-volt current.
To ensure that the D.C. area gets through the heat wave without an interruption of electricity, PJM also is asking consumers to conserve where they can. It has already asked businesses, which are the utilities’ largest customers, to cut back and use backup facilities when possible.
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