Bracing for a week of temperatures expected to reach into and beyond the 90s, Baltimore health officials opened five emergency cooling centers Monday stocked with ice, water and air conditioning.
The city's Commission on Aging and Retirement Education is operating an additional five centers today and Wednesday, when triple-digit temperatures are expected.
On Monday, the National Weather Service issued a "special weather statement" warning of dangers associated with hot weather. The alert warned "sensitive groups such as the elderly and infants" should be especially careful and suggested that those who are outside should spend as much time as possible in the shade.
"Do not allow children or pets to remain unattended in a car," the statement said.
The NWS forecast also said the hot weather, with temperatures in the high 90s and 100s, would remain through Friday.
Baltimore Interim Health Commissioner Olivia D. Farrow issued a code red alert Monday that will remain in effect through at least Wednesday. The cooling centers are open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. today and Wednesday. Information can be found at baltimorehealth.org/coderedinfo.
Air quality alerts also are in effect, meaning that people should stay out the heat and avoid strenuous activity and heavy exercise.
"We are looking at temperatures close to 100 degree and a little more moist than Sunday. The winds are westerly and not as dry," said Bryan Jackson of the weather service in Sterling, Va.
He said he expected the nights to be warm as well, with overnight temperatures tonight in the 80s.
Baltimore Sun reporter Julie Bykowicz contributed to this article.
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