Public Information Statement
Issued by NWS Sterling, VA

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Public Information Statement
National Weather Service Baltimore MD/Washington DC
231 PM EDT Wed May 10 2017

To:  Subscribers:
  -NOAA Weather Wire Service
  -Emergency Managers Weather Information Network
  -NOAAPORT
  Other NWS Partners and NWS Employees

From:  Christopher Strong
       Warning Coordination Meteorologist

Subject: Change of Heat Advisory and Heat Warning thresholds for
         portions of western Maryland, northwestern Virginia and
         eastern West Virginia
         Effective immediately

Effective immediately, the National Weather Service Office in
Sterling, Virginia serving the Baltimore MD/Washington DC area has
lowered the Heat Advisory and Heat Warning criteria for portions
of western Maryland, northwestern Virginia and eastern West
Virginia for the coming summer season.

Climatological studies indicate that the region west of the Blue
Ridge in northern Virginia and west of the Catoctin Mountains in
Maryland, along with all of eastern West Virginia, has a
significantly reduced incidence of heat compared to the region
further east. The Martinsburg, West Virginia area, for example,
has climatological normal heat indices approximately 5 degrees
cooler than those experienced in Washington, DC.

Thus, the old threshold of 105-109 degrees Fahrenheit for two or
more consecutive hours has been lowered to 100-104 degrees
Fahrenheit. Similarly, the Excessive Heat Warning criteria has
been lowered from 110 degrees Fahrenheit or greater for two or
more consecutive hours to 105 degrees Fahrenheit or greater for
two or more consecutive hours.

It is expected that this change will alert people sooner to
impending heat threats and if acted upon, reduce the number of
emergency department visits.

No communication changes are required to continue to receive heat
advisory/warning products. Only the triggering threshold for heat
advisories and excessive heat warnings has changed.

If you have questions, please contact:

Christopher Strong
Warning Coordination Meteorologist
National Weather Service Baltimore MD/Washington DC
43858 Weather Service Road
Sterling, VA 20166
christopher.strong@noaa.gov
703-996-2223

$$

RCM/CS



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