Extreme heat limits outdoor activities for camps, athletes
Posted July 28, 2016
Raleigh, N.C. — Several counties in central and eastern North Carolina were under an excessive heat warning Thursday afternoon, and those that weren't still remained under a heat advisory.
Areas under the warning saw heat index values climb to 110, but WRAL meteorologist Mike Maze said lower than expected dew points prevented the heat index from climbing even higher.
Counties included in the excessive heat warning, which expired at 8 p.m.., included Cumberland, Edgecombe, Halifax, Harnett, Hoke, Johnston, Nash, Sampson, Scotland, Wayne and Wilson.
An excessive heat warning means temperatures will be hot enough that heat-related illnesses are likely for those who spend extended periods of time outside. The elderly and those without sufficient air conditioning are at an increased risk, forecasters said.
Other counties in the area, including Wake, Franklin, Granville, Person, Durham, Orange, Chatham and Lee, were under a heat advisory and saw heat index values climb to about 105.
Coaches were watching high school athletes very closely as they practiced and Wake County schools said that high school sports programs were not allowed to practice outside between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m.
The city of Raleigh on Thursday suspended all trash and recycling collection because of the extreme heat. Crews will complete collection of Thursday's routes on Friday and residents are advised to leave their bins at the curb as fine and citations will not be issued.
WRAL Chief Meteorologist Greg Fishel said that temperatures are expected to back off by a few degrees over the weekend, but the weather will remain hot.
"It's still going to be hot and humid. The more significant downturn in temperature will probably come Monday and Tuesday of next week," he said.
Teachers, counselors look for signs of danger in extreme heat
On blazing hot days, when relief is hard to find, water always seems to be the answer.
'We encourage the kids to carry their water bottles at all times and then we have five water stations throughout camp that are constantly being filled," said YMCA youth director Kara Mulligan.
Most camps took children inside during the hottest part of the day, limiting outdoor time to the morning hours. Campers sought refuge in shady spots and water activities were a highlight of the day.
"They love being outside in the water.They love dunking and pouring water on each other," said teacher Tammy Hubbard. "Sometimes it's too much for them, but for the most part, they love being outside. They don't really feel the heat, they don't really understand the danger."
The dangers of the heat are real, which is why teachers and counselors at The Y are trained to look for signs of trouble.
"Being able to identify signs of heat exhaustion and those asthma triggers, because the humidity has been really heavy," Mulligan said.