Temperatures in low 100s expected this weekend

Xavier Tyson, a Shenandoah University freshman football player from Germantown, Maryland, takes a water break between sprints on Thursday during the team's first official day of practice. Thursday was hot, with temperatures in the 90s, and forecasters say expect even higher temperatures this weekend. Rich Cooley//Daily

Area residents should brace for a heat wave in the region through the weekend with temperatures in the low 100s.

The National Weather Service issued a heat advisory for the Metropolitan Washington, D.C.-Baltimore Area on Thursday. Shenandoah County and the region can also expect high temperatures in the mid- to upper 90s for the next several days, Matt Elliott, a meteorologist in the agency’s forecast office for the Baltimore-Washington area, warned Thursday.

The heat index will make temperatures feel closer to the low 100s, Elliott noted.

“While it’s gonna be hot, certainly, we’re not expecting the same level of heat (in the valley),” Elliott said. “The metro (area) might see like 105 heat indices, probably more like near 100 or so for Shenandoah County in that general area.

The weather service issues a heat advisory when meteorologists expect a period of high temperatures that, when combined with humidity, creates a situation in which illnesses can occur.

The agency advises residents affected by a heat advisory to take precautions when working or spending time outside. People should reschedule strenuous activities to the early morning or evening. Anyone overcome by heat should be moved to a cool, shaded location.

Some fire and rescue agencies set up cooling stations in the event of prolonged heat waves. Chief Richard Mabie, of the Warren County Department of Fire and Rescue Services, said Thursday they had not set up cooling stations. Such action would depend on the number of heat-related calls for service. Mabie noted that it wouldn’t take long for his department to activate cooling centers if necessary.

Shenandoah County would open its designated shelters – each of the three middle schools – as cooling stations if an event such as a storm caused widespread, prolonged power outages, said Gary Yew, chief of the Department of Fire and Rescue. The county would consider using other public facilities such as fire and rescue stations or libraries as cooling centers for individual, short-term needs, Yew said. The county also could turn to churches and other faith-based groups for help, he added.

Meteorologists suspect they might need to issue heat advisories in the next few days, Elliott said.

The forecast for Friday calls for temperatures just above 100 degrees.

“Our criteria for a heat advisory would be 105 for the index,” Elliott said. “Sometimes if it gets close and it gets hot enough long enough, we might even issue it with a little lower heat index.

“It’s gonna stay elevated through the weekend,” Elliott added. “You know, it probably might peak Saturday with heat indices closer to 105 that day probably for Shenandoah County and then again, on Sunday, it’ll probably look a degree or two less, though still above 100.”

Contact staff writer Alex Bridges at 540-465-5137 ext. 125, or abridges@nvdaily.com