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Heat indexes approach 105 degrees, canceling high school practices

Posted August 14
Updated August 15

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— Heat advisories were in effect for Wake and surrounding counties through Monday evening, and the heat is not expected to back off for Tuesday.

According to WRAL Chief Meteorologist Greg Fishel, the heat index in Raleigh reached 99 degrees at noon. Highs at the Raleigh-Durham International Airport topped out at 95 degrees.

By Monday evening, a few isolated showers could form as temperatures fall back into the 70s.

"The heat will back off a little bit this week, but our chance for storms increases as we head toward the weekend," Fishel said.

Highs on Tuesday are expected to be in the low to mid 90s.

Heat advisories prompt Cumberland, Wake schools to cancel outdoor activities

This kind of intense heat has prompted schools to cancel outdoor activities and athletics practices, and it has officials cautioning Triangle residents to refrain from working outdoors if possible.

For the ninth time this summer, heat and humidity have shutdown all outdoor activities at Cumberland County schools. The athletic fields at E.E. Smith High School in Fayetteville were completely empty Monday despite the impending football season.

Lawrence Smalls, athletic director at E.E. Smith, has worked in high school athletics for 10 years. He says the safety of his student athletes is top priority.

"Typically, when we get a notification like this, we try to move the practices to earlier in the morning," said Smalls. "If that doesn't work, we will try to have our practice in the gym."

The Wake County Public School System also made the call to postpone, or cancel outdoor athletic practices until at least 6:30 p.m.

Games and practices can begin at 6:30 p.m. only if conditions move below code black - which is defined as under 90 degree or a heat index below 125 degrees.

The North Carolina High School Athletic Association has a code system that tells coaches exactly what they can and cannot do depending on the heat and humidity. If the code system goes from red to black, coaches are not allowed to hold any outdoor activities at all.

Coaches have been instructed to provide frequent water breaks and closely monitor all participants.

First responders say that staying hydrated and avoiding the sun are two things a person can to do to avoid being a heat casuality.

"Avoid caffeinated drinks, alcohol, avoid energy drinks and take frequent rest periods," said Assistant Fire Chief Capt. Mike Hill. "Try to stay acclimated to the conditions."

Storms will provide relief later this week

Relief from the hot temperatures could come Wednesday, when the chance for storms increases. By the end of the week, temperatures should return to normal, with highs in the upper 80s.

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  • Janet Ghumri Aug 15, 2:19 p.m.
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    I, for one, am glad to see that these extracurricular activities are being cancelled/postponed due to the excessive heat and heat index. Over the past few years we've seen kids out practicing, sometimes fully equipped, when the heat is way too high. Kids and coaches should not feel pressured to go beyond common sense, just for better competition.
    The band kids are some of the worst, i think. I've seen them marching all around, lugging those heavy instruments, when it's really hot and humid. Move them indoors. It's not worth risking their health