- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 6, 2016

D.C.-area residents should prepare for a heat wave striking the region at the end of this week, when temperatures in the upper 90s will feel a lot warmer because of relentless humidity, forecasters say.

According to Accuweather, Thursday will see a high of 93 degrees, Friday will hit 97 degrees and Saturday will be 96. Based on the weather company’s “real-feel temperature” model, Thursday will feel like 102 and Friday will feel like 105, but Saturday will feel more like 97.

Accuweather meteorologist Evan Duffey predicted that ozone levels will increase as more people run their air conditioners, so the air quality is expected to be poor this weekend.

On Wednesday, the National Weather Service issued a code orange air quality alert for the D.C. metropolitan area, and Mr. Duffey predicted that code orange may be in effect for the rest of the week.

Code orange means that the general public will not be affected by the air quality, but those in “sensitive groups” such as children and adults with chronic heart and lung disease are susceptible to heat exhaustion. These groups should minimize outdoor exercise and strenuous activity.

City residents can keep cool and make a splash at the 24 spray parks located throughout the District. Spray parks are open Monday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. A list of locations is available at the city government website bpr.dc.gov.

The D.C. Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency on Wednesday released its heat emergency plan for 2016. It lists cooling centers, indoor and outdoor pools, and public libraries where residents can take shelter.

“Traditionally, when we get this sort of heat, summer storms follow. So power outages can happen. That’s why we like to have these procedures ahead of time,” said Brian Baker, chief of staff at the agency.

This week, the D.C. officials will activate cooling centers in government facilities, homeless shelters, and senior citizen wellness centers. Vans from the United Planning Organization will transport residents to cooling centers in emergency situations. The organization’s toll-free hotline number is 1-800-535-7252.

Officials encourage city residents to limit their outdoor activity between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., drink plenty of water and stay in the shade.

The temperature will cool to 88 degrees on Sunday, as a storm system moves east of the mid-Atlantic region, forecasters said Wednesday.

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