87 NC counties and 1 VA county are under alert, including Wake, Cumberland, Durham, Orange, and Harnett counties. Details
Published: 2012-07-26 23:19:00
Updated: 2012-07-27 08:21:52
Posted July 26, 2012
Updated July 27, 2012
Raleigh, N.C. — With an expected high of 99 degrees Friday, the forecast has edged away from the triple-digit temperatures reached earlier in the week.
But the single-degree difference offers little more than psychological comfort as the Triangle heads into another muggy, sticky weekend spiked with thunderstorms.
In Raleigh, the mercury is expected to hit 94 degrees by lunchtime as it heads for a high of 99. The heat index will range from 105 to 115 across the central and eastern portions of the state.
A heat advisory will take effect Friday afternoon for most counties except Durham, Orange and Chatham.
"It's another brutal day," WRAL meteorologist Elizabeth Gardner said. "But the light is going to shine on us. Next week, we're looking at cooler temperatures."
A cold front moving south has an elevated risk of sparking severe thunderstorms late Friday afternoon into the early hours of the night.
"We will see more clouds streaming in today," Gardner said. "As those clouds move in, they may signal the start of thunderstorms."
Temperatures will creep down slowly in the wake of the cold front.
"There is some hope. It isn't going to be dramatic. It isn't going to be quick. But there should be a very slow reduction of the heat as we head into the weekend and next week," WRAL Chief Meteorologist Greg Fishel said.
Saturday will see a high around 97 degrees, 95 degrees Sunday, and the work week will start off with a couple of days in the low 90s.
Thursday's high is expected to dip to 87 degrees.
"If we're lucky, maybe by next Wednesday or Thursday, we won't even be getting to 90," Fishel said.