Heat Advisory in Effect — Stay Safe and Cool

heat advisory photo

News release from Fairfax Emergency Services

The National Weather Service reports that excessive heat will impact Fairfax County and most of the D.C. area throughout the week and a Heat Advisory is in effect. Heat indices around 105°F – 110°F are possible today and Thursday afternoon and early evening. In addition, dew points are expected to be in the low to middle 70s through Thursday, creating very humid conditions.

Dangerous heat and humidity are likely Friday through Sunday across the entire area. Heat indices of 110°F to 115°F degrees are possible during the afternoon and evening hours each day, and heat indices may hold in the 80s and 90s at night.

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser has activated the District’s Heat Emergency Plan. When the temperature or heat index in the District reaches 95 degrees, District Government, through the Department of Human Services (DHS) and the Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency (HSEMA), will implement the Heat Emergency Plan and activate cooling centers for residents to seek relief. Residents needing a cool place to be are encouraged to utilize any library or recreation center during their normal business hours, or the Adams Place Day Center.

The Heat Index is a measure of how hot it really feels when relative humidity is factored in with the actual air temperature. Learn more about the heat index from the National Weather Service.

If the prolonged heat and humidity is realized, it will become a significant threat to anyone exposed to the heat for an extended period of time.

heat safety

Heat Advisory in effect

The National Weather Service has issued a Heat Advisory in effect from 11 a.m. this morning until 8 p.m. this evening. A Heat Advisory means that a period of high temperatures is expected. The combination of high temperatures and high humidity will create a situation in which heat illnesses are possible.

The heat and humidity may cause heat stress during outdoor exertion or extended exposure.

Take extra precautions if you work or spend time outside — take frequent breaks and be sure to stay hydrated. When possible, reschedule strenuous activities to early morning or evening. Know the signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Wear light weight and loose fitting clothing when possible and drink plenty of water.

To reduce risk during outdoor work, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration recommends scheduling frequent rest breaks in shaded or air conditioned environments. Anyone overcome by heat should be moved to a cool and shaded location. Heat stroke is an emergency – call or text 9-1-1.

Fairfax County Cooling Centers

With these high temperature and heat index, there is an increased risk of heat-related illness for those without air-conditioning or those outdoors for an extended period. During extremely hot days, there is plenty that you can do to stay cool, like go to a movie, stroll through a shopping center or visit one of Fairfax County’s Cooling Centers (see map below):

Please check the operating hours to ensure the facility is open before arriving. Remember — resting for just two hours in air conditioning can significantly reduce heat-related illnesses.

D.C. Cooling Centers

Cooling Centers are activated in publicly accessible government facilities, homeless shelters, and senior citizen wellness centers, and remain open until 6 pm or until it has been deemed safe to be outdoors. To request transportation to a cooling center for a resident experiencing homelessness, call the hyperthermia hotline at (202) 399-7093. Residents can find their closest cooling center using the District’s interactive map.

Kids and Pets in Cars

Please remember that it is never safe to leave a child, adult or a pet alone in a car, even in the winter. So far in 2019, according to weather.gov, nine toddlers have died in hot cars!

The sun’s shortwave radiation heats objects that it strikes. For example, a dark dashboard or seat can easily reach temperatures in the range of 180 to over 200°F. These objects (e.g., dashboard, steering wheel, child seat) heat the adjacent air by conduction and convection and also give off longwave radiation that is very efficient at warming the air trapped inside a vehicle.

Studies have shown that the temperature inside a parked vehicle can rapidly rise to a dangerous level for children, pets and even adults. Leaving the windows slightly open does not significantly decrease the heating rate. The younger the child the more severe the effects because their bodies have not developed the ability to efficiently regulate its internal temperature.

Heat Safety Tips

  • Find places with air conditioning. Libraries, shopping malls and community centers can provide a cool place to take a break from the heat. (See Fairfax County’s cooling center information above.)
  • If you’re outside, find shade. Wear a hat wide enough to protect your face.
  • Wear loose, lightweight, light-colored clothing.
  • Drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated. If you or someone you care for is on a special diet, ask a doctor how best to accommodate it.
  • Do not use electric fans when the temperature outside is more than 95 degrees, as this could increase the risk of heat-related illness. Fans create air flow and a false sense of comfort, but do not reduce body temperature.
  • Avoid high-energy activities.
  • Check yourself, family members, and neighbors for signs of heat-related illness.

Weather Forecast

heat advisory

  • Wednesday: Partly sunny, with a high near 95 and a heat index value as high as 100. Chance of precipitation is 40%, with a chance of showers and thunderstorms after 2 p.m.
  • Thursday: Mostly cloudy, with a high near 90. A chance of showers and thunderstorms. Chance of precipitation is 50%.
  • Friday: Sunny and hot, with a high near 97.
  • Saturday: Mostly sunny and hot, with a high near 98.