How hot is it in Northern Virginia? Hot enough to break records. On Saturday at 1:45 p.m. at Reagan National in Arlington, the temperature hit 104 degrees, and then 105 degrees—higher than the daily record of 102 degrees set two years ago, according to the National Weather Service and the Capital Weather Gang.
Weather forecasters were waiting to see if the all-time high of 106 for the D.C. area would be matched or beat. According to the Capital Weather Gang, the metro area has only reached 105 on four previous occasions.
Across the area, residents who dared venture outside in Northern Virginia were wearing shorts, sundresses, sleeveless T-shirts, hats and sunglasses, and moved slowly from air-conditioned cars across parking lots and sidewalks shimmering in air that registered a 106-degree heat index. Swimming pools were doing a brisk business, as well as shops selling ice cream, gelato, smoothies or frozen yogurt.
The National Weather Service issued an Excessive Heat Warning, which remains in effect Saturday until 10 p.m. An excessive heat warning means temperatures will hit between 100 to 105 degrees with a heat index up to 110 degrees.
The Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments and the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality issued a "code red" air quality for Saturday. That means the air quality is unhealth for the general population and residents should avoid strenuous activity or exercising outdoors.
Anyone working or playing outside should take plenty of breaks in the shade, drink lots of water and wear light loose-fitting clothing, the NWS advises.
For anyone suffering from a medical emergency due to the heat, Fairfax County advises calling 911. For other safety help, call the public safety non-emergency phone number at 703-691-2131, TTY 711.
Thousands of residents in Northern Virginia suffered through high temperatures this week without power after a surprise derecho hit the area June 29. As of Saturday, 43 customers of Dominion Power in Northern Virginia were without power. The company worked around the clock this week to get the power back on.
The NWS said there is a 20 percent chance of thunderstorms Saturday evening. The low is expected to be 81 degrees.