'Hit you in the face' heat spawns spotty afternoon downpours

Posted June 21, 2012

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— Steamy high temperatures climbed into the mid-90s Thursday afternoon across central North Carolina and spawned some spotty downpours in and around Raleigh.

Portions of Wake County are under a flash flood warning until 8 p.m.

The low-level moisture brought tremendous variances in both temperature and rainfall over short distances, said WRAL Chief Meteorologist Greg Fishel. The Hillsborough Street area in Raleigh saw 3 inches of rain, while, just 4 miles south on Tryon Road, conditions were completely dry.

"Most areas are not getting rain, but boy, if you're underneath some of this stuff, it's very impressive," Fishel said.

Temperatures neared 90 degrees across much of the area by lunchtime before topping out around 96 degrees.

"Our heat index is going to make it feel more like 100 degrees this afternoon," WRAL meteorologist Elizabeth Gardner said. "We haven't had a lot of heat yet, so be careful outside while you get acclimated."

The record high temperature for June 21 was set in 1964, when the mercury topped out at 99 degrees at Raleigh-Durham International Airport.

Areas in the Piedmont were under a Code Orange Air Quality Alert through Thursday evening, as high temperatures will mix with potentially unhealthy ground-level ozone concentrations from Greensboro south to Charlotte.

More widespread showers could make their way to the area Friday afternoon as a cold front moves in from the north and west. The front will also provide a brief break from highs in the mid-90s, as weekend temperatures should remain near 90 degrees. 

"It won't be a huge drop, but you'll be able to feel the difference," Gardner said.


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  • Tricky Dick is Not A Crook Jun 21, 2012

    I left work at 5pm and it was dark. Started pouring as soon as I got home near downtown. Poured for almost an hour. 2.5 inches of rain in my guage ITB in Raleigh near NCSU.

  • davidgnews Jun 21, 2012

    Here's a headline - it's the beginning of summer in NC. It will generally be hot through September, no matter what 'they' say. There will be brief periods of slightly cooler weather, but it will be HOT most of the summer. Sweating may occur, but water is your friend.

    Headlines are one thing, but trying to make weather an unnecessary news story is being a bit overly-dramatic.

  • Ambygirl Jun 21, 2012

    It's 94 where I am!!! And humid as can be!! charmmcclain I need bacon to go with those fried eggs! LOL!

  • Hammerhead Jun 21, 2012

    Only 88 at my place. Perfect lawnmowing weather.

  • charmcclainlovesdogs2 Jun 21, 2012

    Fry an egg.

  • jmf1073 4.0 Jun 21, 2012

    It's muggy out, but it's not really hitting me in the face like I expected. I think we topped out at 91 today and now the clouds are rolling in.

  • barry0429 Jun 21, 2012

    Man this heat reminds me of the month of April, lol

  • jmf1073 4.0 Jun 21, 2012

    I'll bring the booze and meat. I might be passed out on a raft in your pool by the time you get home. :)

  • Ambygirl Jun 21, 2012

    jmf1073 4.0 just make sure you have some cool drinks on ice! I like my cooler full of Mic Ultra please. And can you have some hamburgers on the grill? Med well is to my liking! LOL!

  • jmf1073 4.0 Jun 21, 2012

    Ambygirl, when you get home I'll already be in your pool.