Maryland Heat Wave; OC Thunderstorm

Posted on June 23, 2010

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Baltimore has announced a CODE RED heat alert for today, Wednesday, June 23, and Thursday, June 24, with high temperatures in the 90s. Heat index near 100 today in Baltimore, and 100 to 105 on Thursday.

Heat throughout Maryland will be dangerously hot and humid. Would you believe 96 in Hancock, in Western Maryland? Baltimore has opened numerous cooling centers throughout the city. For a list of cooling centers, see Frank Roylance’s  Maryland Weather Blog.

Code Red, Code Orange in Baltimore; 90s in Ocean City.

Also, Code Orange air quality in the Baltimore region on Wednesday, Frank reports, for the third straight day.

Here in Ocean City, we’ve been experiencing temperatures in the high 80s and low 90s for at least a week. The Ocean City forecast today is sunny with a high of 92 degrees. Thursday, the forecast is sunny and 96 degrees, with possible scattered thunderstorms.

A furious thunderstorm hit Ocean City last night (Tuesday). I can’t remember ever seeing a thunderstorm with such prolonged high wind, almost constant lightening at times, awesome thunder, and a deluge of rain for about a half hour.

I saw the first brief lightening about 10:10 p.m. and closed the indoor pool. By 10:30 we were seeing spectacular lightening and unusual thunder. One woman told me she thought the first loud crack of thunder sounded like a nearby explosion.

At about 11 p.m., a fierce gale hit the resort and the rain commenced. The wind and rain continued until about 11:30 p.m. We must have had at least an inch of rain in that half-hour. A second heavy rain began about 12:15 a.m., not as heavy or prolonged as the first. Possibly it was a different thunderstorm.

All told, I heard four unusual thunder events, not a quick bang, like normal thunder, but a rumble that continued for 5 or 10 seconds and sounded like a freight train nearby.

A high-pressure system blankets the Midwest, South, and the Mid-Atlantic, at least as far north as NYC, with heat. Temperatures throughout the region are reported in the upper 80s and 90s. Higher in some places, especially if you calculate the heat index.

And this is only the first official week of summer. Try to stay cool, drink lots of water.

— John Hayden

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