Baltimore ties 90-degree record on year's hottest day

The Baltimore area hit 90 degrees Monday for the first time since Aug. 10, tying a heat record set in 2002.

Temperatures briefly passed the milestone at Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport at 3:51 p.m., according to the National Weather Service. It was the hottest day of a year that has already been marked with higher-than-average temperatures.

The heat is not expected to linger. Cooler weather was expected to move in behind a cold front overnight Monday.

A high-pressure system settled over the Carolinas and sent warm southerly winds heating the region and keeping it dry, said Carrie Suffern, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Sterling, Va. A cold front was expected to move through the region, bringing temperatures down to the mid-70s Tuesday.

While some precipitation is coming along with the front, it's expected to dissipate and keep things dry in the Baltimore region. No rain is expected until Saturday to start making up a deficit of more than 11/2 inches for the month and 5 inches for the year. Baltimore City, eastern Baltimore County and Anne Arundel County are under moderate drought conditions, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.

The conditions Monday brought with them a slight decrease in air quality, with air particle pollution reaching moderate levels, according to the Maryland Department of the Environment. And they also worsened an already early and active allergy season, with tree pollen counts at their highest levels, according to data from the Weather Channel.

That didn't present a problem for Baltimoreans like George Davis, who were flocking to the outdoors despite the start of the workweek. Davis, a budget analyst for the Maryland Port Administration, stepped out of his office Monday afternoon to enjoy the weather and watch a crane dredging the Inner Harbor.

"It's nice to get a little break for the hands and the eyes, and get a little pollen in the system," Davis said.

The weather was also a taste of summer vacation for families on spring break who were visiting downtown. The heat wasn't part of the plan for a second annual trip to Washington and Baltimore for the Wagner family from Saco, Maine, but it was welcome.

Allie Wagner, a red-haired 7-year-old who declared she wanted to be a marine biologist after watching the dolphin show at the National Aquarium, had big plans to enjoy her last afternoon of vacation.

"We're going to ride on some boats," Allie said.