Md. to issue warnings based on heat index

June 14, 1994

As temperatures reached 90 degrees yesterday to begin a hot last week of spring, the Maryland health department announced plans for monitoring the weather all summer to issue warnings aimed at preventing heat-related illnesses and death.

Health Secretary Nelson J. Sabatini said the department will issue warnings at three levels, determined by the "heat index" -- a combination of temperature and humidity indicating what the heat "feels like."

When a heat index of 105 (90 degrees with a relative humidity of 67 percent) is predicted or reached, the department will issue a "heat watch" urging caution; with an index of 105 for two days and forecasts of continuing "high-stress conditions," a "heat warning" will be announced; and with persisting heat and indications of increasing illness or death after three days at an index of 105, the governor would declare a "heat emergency."

Yesterday's temperatures peaked at 90 degrees in Baltimore and 92 at Baltimore-Washington International Airport, a heat index of about 104, the National Weather Service said.

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