BALTIMORE (WJZ) —Baltimore City health officials are urging residents to take precautions ahead of one of the most dangerous heat waves in decades.
“That temperature is going to start going up courtesy of a west/southwest wind… and that’s going to continue to pump in the heat and the humidity over the next several days,” says WJZ meteorologist Tim Williams. “It’s not until the beginning few days of the week, Tuesday into Wednesday, that we start to see a bit of a break.”
Temperatures are expected to reach the high 90’s with the heat index expected to reach or exceed 100 degrees this weekend and early next week.
“The what is one of the leading weather related killers in the United States,” said Dr. Leana Wen, Baltimore City Health Commissioner.
The dangerous heat is not just uncomfortable, it can be deadly.
Last time we saw triple digits was in 2012, when 46 people in Maryland died from heat-related illnesses.
In 2015, mild temperatures led to six deaths. One those killed: 2-year old Leasia Carter who was mistakenly left inside a hot car for 16 hours.
And it’s not just the heat and the air that can be dangerous, WJZ’s infrared thermometer proved certain surfaces can cause some serious problems too:
–Playground slide: 140 degrees
-Tennis court- 130 degrees
-Inside your car- 150 degrees
AAA has even has called in extra staff this weekend to make sure stranded drivers don’t end up on the side of the road.
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But for some, like the guys who run the Cruisin’ Cafe food truck there’s no escaping the heat even with the A/C up.
“When you’re standing behind two fryers at 350 degrees and an oven at 350 you don’t feel it,” one worker said.
And they won’t get any relief as the summer sizzle continues to rise.
There’s also a Code Orange Air Quality Alert.
Inside the BGE operations center extra staff has been called in as the heat puts pressure on the electrical grid.
“We’ve got extra staffing for underground work or any overhead work that needed or equipment repair,” said Justin Mulcahy, with BGE.
Doctor Bahareh Aslani with Sinai Hospital says the soaring temperatures can cause all kinds serious illnesses.
“People have been found at their homes with high temperatures and come in with strokes, heart attacks and other conditions that we have to treat,” said Dr. Aslani.
Travis Wallace understands the dangers, that’s why he gives away free snowballs for an hour a day to help neighbors cool off.
“It’s all about helping someone else and this is what we do,” he says.
BGE has cancelled all planned outages for the weekend to try and keep the air conditioning on for people across the region.