Published: 2012-06-29 05:18:00
Updated: 2012-06-29 19:23:37
Posted June 29, 2012
Raleigh, N.C. — The mercury soared in the Triangle on Friday, with temperatures tying the all-time record high for the region of 105 degrees.
The thermometer at Raleigh-Durham International Airport topped out at 105 degrees by late afternoon – breaking the same-date record high of 101 degrees set in 1945.
Wake Electric reported about 7,500 customers in Wake County were without power about 3:30 p.m., but electricity was restored within an hour. A spokesperson for the company said it was not clear whether the extreme heat was directly responsible for the outage, although demand spiked about the same time.
State officials are asking everyone to set home and work thermostats two degrees higher, between 78 and 80 degrees, during the next few days to reduce demand, save money and avoid potential blackouts during the heatwave.
“If every customer adjusts the thermostat just up to two degrees, it will cut down on the demand for power, help avoid potential blackouts and control utility bills,” Secretary of Commerce for Energy Jon Williams said.
Temperatures will stay in the triple digits through Monday.
"It's still possible that 106 could be achieved," WRAL Chief Meteorologist Greg Fishel said. "If we don't do it today, we've got an excellent chance tomorrow."
Even during the nighttime, the mercury will struggle to drop below 90 degrees.
"It's going to be an insufferable evening," Fishel said.
Nationwide, 1,011 records were broken in the past week, including 251 on Tuesday alone.
That extreme heat could spell trouble for anyone who spends time outside this weekend.
"I don't care if you are in the top 5 percent fit people in the United States of America," said Jeff Hammerstein, director of Wake County Emergency Medical Services. "You are not immune to this. It can bring you down."
Hammerstein urged people who must go outside to take common sense precautions – going out in the early mornings, drinking lots of water, taking breaks, and wearing cool, light-colored clothing – and to watch for symptoms of heat illnesses.
"If your muscles are cramping, that's the first sign you're starting to head down the wrong path," he said, adding that people should watch out for "any kind of dizziness, disorientation, nausea, headaches."
Relief from triple-digit temperatures will finally come Tuesday, when the high is forecast to be 99 degrees. The mercury is expected to stay in the mid 90s through the middle of next week.
A chance for afternoon showers and thunderstorms returns Monday and Tuesday, but the scattered storms will have little impact on the hot weather.