The sweltering heat that blanketed Baltimore on Wednesday could bring severe thunderstorms through Thursday afternoon, according to the National Weather Service.
Wednesday had a high temp of 96 with sticky humidity making the air feel even hotter. It was partly sunny with a low chance of an isolated rain shower or thunderstorm after 2pm. Temperatures should hit a low of around 70 degrees on Wednesday evening.
Maryland health officials on Wednesday announced the first heat-related death reported in the state this year.
A 65-year-old man died in Baltimore County, the Maryland Department of Health said.
“As this tragedy demonstrates, heat-related illnesses, including heat exhaustion and heatstroke, can lead to severe illness and even death,” said Deputy Health Minister Dr. Jinlene Chan in a press release. “During hot weather, Marylanders are urged to take precautions to avoid overheating and to check on friends and neighbors who may be susceptible to heat-related illnesses, particularly older adults and those with chronic illnesses.”
The department monitors temperature conditions and heat-related illnesses and deaths. Heat-related illnesses can strike anyone, but officials warn that people under the age of 5 or over 65, those with chronic illnesses, those taking certain medications and those who exercise or work outdoors are most at risk.
A cold front is expected to make Thursday rainy. Severe thunderstorms could begin in the late afternoon and bring damaging wind gusts. There is a high chance of overnight showers. Half a centimeter of rain is expected. Thursday will have a high of 88 degrees, which will likely drop to a low of 64 degrees overnight.
The potential of intense thunderstorms to create strong gusts of wind over the water — and possibly even hail — prompted the National Weather Service to issue a hazardous weather forecast for the Chesapeake Bay area, the Potomac River intertidal area, and the Interstate 95 corridor in Central Maryland.
After the storm, the heat will return on Friday. However, the temperature is expected to become more bearable with a high of nearly 80 degrees and windy weather. The comfortable temperature is expected to last through the weekend.
The Associated Press contributed to this article.