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Heat wave might peak Sunday

Posted June 8, 2008

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— The heat wave gripping the Triangle might peak in the triple digits on Sunday, a day after Raleigh reached the century mark at the earliest time in weather records.

A high of 100 degrees was recorded at Raleigh-Durham International Airport on Saturday, breaking a 51-year-old record for that date.

That high on June 7, 2008, squeaked by to break another record: Prior to that date, the earliest Raleigh had seen the century mark in the spring was June 8, in 1999.

On Sunday, the heat continued unabated, reaching 95 degrees by 1:30 p.m. amid hazy sunshine.

The high was expected to be around 102 degrees, and the heat index could reach 105 degrees.

The hot, stagnant weather has also prompted air quality officials to issue a code orange health notice for poor air quality around Raleigh, as well as Charlotte and Greensboro. That rating means active children and adults and people with respiratory disease, such as asthma, should limit prolonged outdoor exertion.

The National Weather Service issued a heat advisory for most of central and eastern North Carolina.

"The danger from prolonged exposure to such hot conditions is cumulative," the advisory stated. "This means that the chance of dehydration and other heat related illnesses increases as the heat wave continues."

However, North Carolina might start seeing a break from record-breaking temperatures by mid-week, WRAL Meteorologist Chris Thompson said.

While the mercury might reach 100 degrees again on Monday, it should dip to around 96 degrees on Tuesday and into the low 90s for the rest of the week.

The state departments of Health and of Crime Control and Public Safety suggest these tips for keeping cool: 

  • Do not leave children or animals in a parked car, even for just a few minutes.
  • Drink plenty of fluids, preferably water, especially if you must spend time outside.
  • Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing.
  • Use sunscreen, sunglasses and a wide-brimmed hat to protect yourself from sunburn.
  • Stay indoors in air-conditioning if possible.
  • Take a cool shower or bath.
  • Avoid cooking with the stove and oven.
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