Oppressive heat and humidity drenched the capital region Saturday and possibly led to another death in Maryland.
The high temperature recorded at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport hit triple digits, breaking the previous record high of 96 degrees set in 1987. Add in the humidity, and the heat index soared to tortuous levels.
Officials had warned against the dangers of exposure to excessive heat. Maryland announced three more heat-related deaths Friday, which brought the state's total this year to 16. There have been six confirmed heat-related deaths in Virginia and one in the District.
A 20-year-old male bicyclist died Saturday after apparently losing consciousness and falling from his bike, according to the Prince George's County Fire/EMS Department. Paramedics feel that high temperatures and humidity "more than likely" played a role in the man's death, according to a department news release.
The National Weather Service had issued an excessive heat warning on Saturday for much of the area, including the District, Montgomery and Prince George's counties in Maryland. The warning was also in effect for Alexandria City, as well as Arlington, Fairfax, Prince William and Loudoun counties in Virginia.
Despite warnings to stay out of the heat, some chose to brave the elements.
District resident Rose Kasonga was cooling off in the shade while waiting for a friend on the National Mall. She said they were planning on heading into the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum.
How has she been dealing with the heat?
"I go [to work] early and leave late," she said.
Steve Kissinger, a Boy Scout master from Springfield, Missouri, was sitting on a bench with his shoes off shortly after noon near the Smithsonian's Freer Gallery of Art. Hordes of scouts were in town as part of the lead-up to the 2010 National Scout Jamboree.
"Part of the scouts program includes all types of outdoor activities," he said. "So we deal with extreme heat in some cases, as well as extreme cold. So we train for both."