Weather

Triple-digit heat streak ends Monday, cooling threat of storms

Posted July 2, 2012

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— A three-day string of triple-digit temperatures in North Carolina broke Monday, as highs in the mid-90s cooled the threat of severe weather.

The high in Raleigh reached 94 degrees Monday afternoon, which is above average for July 2, but hardly matches the record-setting heat of the past three days, said WRAL Chief Meteorologist Greg Fishel.

"Everything is relative," he said. "If we hadn't been in the triple digits this weekend, we'd probably be talking about this relentless heat wave, But since we have been so extreme, this actually feels not so bad."

Sweltering temperatures tied the all-time heat record in Raleigh on Friday and Saturday with highs of 105. Two consecutive days of record-tying heat has never happened in North Carolina's history, Fishel said. 

"It truly was an unprecedented event," he said.

Daily records were broken on three consecutive days this weekend – 105 on Friday, 105 on Saturday and 101 on Sunday.

Early forecasts for Monday called for another round of heat-fueled storms like those that killed three people on Sunday, but the mercury didn't climb nearly as high as the WRAL meteorologists originally expected.

Though Monday marked a "relative cooldown" in the Triangle, it didn't spell the end of a hot week.

"Make no mistake. (This week) will be hot and humid. It's not going to be a refreshing blast of cold, Arctic air," Fishel said. "But at least we have no triple digits in our forecast." 

Heat/Hot Weather Resources, tips to survive the heat

The hot, unstable air mass will keep the possibility of severe storms alive through the week – including on the Fourth of July, when temperatures will still be sizzling at 97 degrees. By 9 p.m., when most fireworks go off, temperatures will be in the low 80s.

So far, North Carolinians seem to be handling the heat well.

Local hospitals haven't reported a substantial uptick in heat-related injuries and illnesses. This weekend, Wake EMS workers responded to 29 heat-related emergencies, and WakeMed treated a little more than a dozen people for heat-related problems at its four emergency rooms.

"Our population is well educated," said Dr. Erik Manring, with WakeMed Cary. "When you hear it enough and you get an advance warning and stay inside at the heat of the day and do things wisely, you stay out of trouble."

Vehicles on Triangle roads, however, didn't fare so well. AAA Carolinas said they had 7,000 calls across the state over the weekend. About 30 percent of those were heat-related.

Tires can easily go flat in extreme weather because tire pressure fluctuates in the heat, said AAA Carolinas spokesman Tom Crosby. Heat is harder on cars than other types of severe weather, including snow and ice.

People should keep on taking precautions for as long the extreme heat lasts.

"The impacts of heat are cumulative. The more days in a row that you're exposed to intense heat, the more likely you are to succumb to some heat-related illness," said WRAL meteorologist Elizabeth Gardner. "You still don't want to be overdoing it outside today or really any day this week."

38 Comments

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  • ladyblue Jul 2, 2012

    thank goodness./ She sure was a rough one. .

  • aspenstreet1717 Jul 2, 2012

    What happened to 97 degrees? WRAL says it's 93. On my porch it's 89 at 7 PM.

  • storchheim Jul 2, 2012

    Is there anything we won't fight about on GOLO? Good thing we're all so darned lovable...

  • bluecharger Jul 2, 2012

    a) storms by and large don't "kill" many people, people doing ridiculous things for the conditions either obvious or knowable "GET killed" while being oblivious, as was certainly the case this weekend....b) what dangerous temps? yet another forecast gloriously blown, with the point-man for the day again being the clueless E. Gardner....people with MUCH less experience with the weather here should have at least considered the idea that with all the activity yesterday the sun today (occluded as it was for so much of the peak hours of the day) would have to expend much of the energy directed our way on evaporation and that today would be at least a bit cooler than 100 degrees....I mean every day she spews so much nonsense with all her "maybe"s and "could see"s that at the end of her 10 minutes I NEVER have any idea what's "supposed" to happen and end up at the NWS website anyway.....time for EG to go.....too much talent on staff there now anyway....cut the chaff, WRAL

  • Uhavenoclu Jul 2, 2012

    "I LOVE the heat and LOVE LOVE storms. I feel ripped off today."

    --The heat and storms are killing people. But hey, what do you care as long as you're entertained.

    That's why some people don't get ill too much,or hurt,or sad...Their lives are nort controlled by how others feel and conditions...What happens to another,we care but are not affected by it...yes this may sound cold and heartless but y'all look at words one way,but They were killed by storms far from my home,I'm concerned by my home,my neighbors my street,not in another town,or state,for it went all up the east coast.
    We are still here,but most moved forward and rebuilt their lives instead of looking back and turning to stone.

  • Geez Louise Jul 2, 2012

    "I LOVE the heat and LOVE LOVE storms. I feel ripped off today."

    --The heat and storms are killing people. But hey, what do you care as long as you're entertained.

  • leeharless Jul 2, 2012

    Contrary to what these trolls are saying, I hope it cools, soon. It's killing people, all over the place.

  • Uhavenoclu Jul 2, 2012

    I am skeptical of comments that use the word "always" - nothing is "always". High heat does not necessarily bring hurricanes or tornadoes. Warm weather - April through October is the hurricane and tornado season. And, your last comment makes absolutely no sense; there is no mention of what you said in the story. You are the one who has no clue...

    Heat evaporates the water,which in turn forms clouds,which in turn produces rauin,some severe clouds,the more heat that evaporates more water the more intense the cluds and moisture.Clouds move,the more quickly they move the more the wind,so a fast moving cloud/storm produces hurricanes /tornadoes.
    As far as Hurricane seasons and such..Nothing is garaunteed..Betty showed us that last week..Check the records odf the storms and hurricanes,and such and weather..The temps are generally high but the wind factor brings it down.

  • jmf1073 4.0 Jul 2, 2012

    we actually got a weather call yesterday afternoon and fortunately, we didn't see a thing (unlike the unfortunate people several counties over from wake) but I must say, we had a TERRIBLE storm several weeks back and didn't even receive a weather call - very strange!
    marinewife101

    Greg & the WRAL weather team are trying to snuff you out.

  • marinewife101 Jul 2, 2012

    we actually got a weather call yesterday afternoon and fortunately, we didn't see a thing (unlike the unfortunate people several counties over from wake) but I must say, we had a TERRIBLE storm several weeks back and didn't even receive a weather call - very strange!

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