Heat and Humidity (Coping with DC's Summer Weather)

Things to Know About the Region's Hot and Humid Weather

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“Hot and Humid,” describes summer weather in the Washington, DC area. Temperatures in July and August can reach 100 degrees and the humid air feels damp and muggy. Humidity is the amount of water vapor in the air. A high concentration of humidity combined with hot temperatures can be dangerous to your health. Here is what you should know and some tips for coping with the region's summer weather.

Heat Related Illnesses

Symptoms of heat-related illnesses may include headache, dizziness, confusion, nausea, vomiting, muscle spasms, and rapid breathing. Knowing the symptoms of heat exposure can prevent heat illness from becoming life-threatening. If you experience any of these symptoms, you should get out of the heat and drink plenty of water. Most at risk are young children, the elderly, and people with health problems such as asthma.

Tips for Coping with the Heat

  • The best way to avoid trouble is to stay indoors. Avoid strenuous activities that can result in overexposure to the sun, such as sports and gardening. If you must do strenuous activity, do it during the early hours of the day when the air is the coolest.
  • Drink plenty of water and avoid drinks containing alcohol or caffeine. Dehydration, cramps, exhaustion or heat stroke can result from not drinking enough fluids.
  • When outdoors, wear light-colored clothing, a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen.
  • Never leave pets or young children in a car, even with the windows cracked.
  • If you don’t have air conditioning where you live, you can find a reprieve from the heat at lots of public places, such as:
  • shopping malls
  • movie theaters
  • libraries
  • museums
  • theaters
  • indoor amusement centers
  • swimming pools
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