- The Washington Times - Monday, July 9, 2007

Little relief from the heat is in store after high temperatures yesterday that reached the mid-90s and could climb as high as 99 degrees today, forecasters say.

The National Weather Service is calling for an “excessive heat watch,” and it’s more of the same for tomorrow, with temperatures expected to be around 95 degrees.

“It is July,” said Calvin Meadows, a meteorological technician for the Weather Service. “It’s normally hot. It’s normal for summer.”

The good news is that the temperature is unlikely to break the record of 104 degrees, set in 1936. The Weather Service says the normal temperatures for this time of year is a high of 88 degrees and a low of 70 degrees.

The record high for July 8 was 99 degrees, set in 1991. The record low was 56 degrees, set in 1906.

Residents seemed to be ready for the heat yesterday. As advised by forecasters, many stayed indoors or in air-conditioned cars. If they went outdoors, they wore shorts, short-sleeved shirts and light clothing and stayed as much as possible in shady places — except those with access to swimming pools or the beaches, which were a sunny and humid 86 degrees.

The District’s Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency declared a “heat emergency day” and opened cooling centers in public buildings throughout the city.

Baltimore officials have declared a “code red heat alert” for today and Tuesday. Five cooling centers will be open for people without air-conditioning.

But rain may come with the muggy heat as soon as tomorrow afternoon and night. Only 1.52 inches have fallen since June 1, and lawns are turning brown. Normally, the average rainfall for that period is 3.92 inches.

Yesterday’s heat was reaching its peak in the afternoon when Fatu Koker, 24, and cousin Rebecca Campbells, 28, left their Takoma Park homes to watch friends play a championship soccer game on the southern edge of Silver Spring.

“It’s hot, but it’s OK,” Miss Koker said. “It’s boring just sitting in the house.”

“It’s hot, but, we’ve just got to go,” Miss Campbells said. “It’s cool.”

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