06/29/12 — Yep. It's going to be a hot one

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Yep. It's going to be a hot one

By Steve Herring
Published in News on June 29, 2012 1:46 PM

The National Weather Service has issued a heat advisory for today and an excessive heat warning for 6 a.m. Saturday until 11 p.m. Sunday for central North Carolina, including Wayne County, where dangerously hot conditions are expected.

Temperatures are forecast to reach or top 100 degrees each day with heat indices ranging from 110 to 115 degrees on Saturday and Sunday.

According to the National Weather Service, today's high is expected to be near 102 with a heat index as high as 108 with a west wind between 7 and 9 mph. Tonight's low will be around 77 with a calm wind.

The worst heat and heat indices are expected between 1 and 6 p.m. each day before slowly cooling down at night to only the upper 70s to low 80s.

Saturday's high is expected to be near 104, with a slight chance of thunderstorms before 11 p.m. The heat index could reach 112. The low Saturday night will be around 78.

Sunday will be sunny and hot, with a high near 104 and a low Sunday night around 78.

The heat will continue through Wednesday with a forecast high of near 103 on Monday, near 99 on Tuesday and near 101 on Wednesday. There also is a chance of thunderstorms on Wednesday.

Lows on those days will be in the upper 70s to near 80 degrees.

The concern is that the oppressive temperatures could lead to heat exhaustion or heat stroke. People are urged to drink plenty of fluids and remain in air-conditioned rooms and to check on neighbors, relatives and pets.

People also are encouraged to wear light, loose-fitting clothing, drink plenty of water, take frequent breaks and to limit strenuous activities to early morning or evening.

It is important, too, to know the symptoms of heat-related illness.

The heat isn't the only concern -- isolated to widely scattered thunderstorms are possible as well during the late afternoon and evening hours through Wednesday. Storms could be severe, possibly with strong winds.

"We've had a relatively mild spring," said meteorologist Scott Sharp of the National Weather Service office in Raleigh. "It's shocked a lot of people going to this. It was 81 degrees Tuesday so we're going from relatively pleasant summer weather to oppressive heat in just 72 hours."

The triple-digit temperatures will roll in today and are expected to dissipate by Wednesday. Residents can blame a strong area of high pressure that caused high temperatures over the Central Plains for the past week. It will make a home over the Tennessee Valley and Deep South today, then move over the Southeast. Then it will head back west, Sharp said.

To avoid the worst of the heat, folks could flee to the Outer Banks, where a sea breeze will keep temperatures in the upper 80s to low 90s, or to the mountains, where the highs will be in the same range. Still, "it's going to be hard to escape the heat no matter where you go," Sharp said.

--The Associated Press contributed to this report.