Heat wave? This is more like a heat middle finger.
Abominable air that sticks to the skin like boiling peanut butter has oozed into the District, and god help anyone outside who hasn't been hardened to the pain through years of living in the nation's sixth hottest city. The Folklife Festival organizers are going to have trouble packing up, what with all the desiccated corpses of Midwesterners blowing around the Mall.
But don't worry, it gets worse.
The peak of D.C.'s highest yearly temperatures on average begins July 16 when the normal max hits 89 degrees. But today, we will be getting a jump on 2011's dog days. After an expected hazy dawn the air will percolate up into the mid-90s with a possible heat-index reading near 100 degrees. That's enough to turn jeans into weeping sweat downpipes. A Code Orange air-quality alert is in effect for sensitive individuals thanks to sputtering exhaust pipes clouding up the Beltway.
On Tuesday, the gates of hell open up to create the hottest day this week. Highs could challenge the record of 99 degrees at Reagan National that was set in 1908. The heat index is likely to shoot above 100. You will, only slight exaggeration here, want to die.
"It'll be one of those days when people are moping around and wishing they were somewhere else," says ABC7 meteorologist Steve Rudin. Make it through Tuesday and there's a cool front coming in mid-week to produce "the most beautiful July weather you'll see," says Rudin, with low humidity and temperatures in the 80s.