Raleigh, N.C. — Temperatures will creep toward the 100-degree mark Tuesday afternoon, part of a "mini-heat wave" that will impact the Triangle until late in the work week, WRAL meteorologist Elizabeth Gardner said.
The forecast high for Tuesday was 98 degrees, but high humidity and plenty of sunshine will push heat index values as high as 105 degrees by mid-afternoon.
"Our normal temperature for mid-July is 90 degrees," Gardner said. "We'll be in the 90s by lunchtime today and top out in the upper 90s by this afternoon."
The warming trend continues an unusual summer pattern of on-again, off-again heat in central North Carolina. In the last three weeks, temperatures have topped 100 degrees for nine days while staying in the 80s or 90s for 12 days.
"Usually we just set the bar at 91 or 92 degrees during the summer and hit cruise control, but that has not been the case this year," Gardner said. "We've had triple-digit heat for extended periods and then suddenly we see highs in the 80s. The wild swings aren't normal for the summer months."
Isolated afternoon thunderstorms are possible in southern counties Tuesday afternoon, but much of the area will stay dry until late in the week when a cold front swoops in to end the brief heat wave. The greatest chance for rain in the Triangle will come late Thursday and Friday.
Once the front clears early Saturday, pleasant conditions will dominate throughout the weekend. High temperatures will hover in the low-to mid-80s Saturday and Sunday as more comfortable air arrives.
"We'll see a noticeable change for the weekend, and it's going to be really nice out there," Gardner said.