Weather

Heat wave blankets eastern US

Posted June 8, 2011

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— Summer is still two weeks away, but much of the nation is sweating through near-record temperatures, with the deaths of four elderly people in Tennessee and Maryland attributed to the heat wave.

Thermometers will soar close to 100 degrees in parts of the East Coast and the South. Forecasters said it will feel even hotter with high humidity. A ridge of high pressure has brought the heat and will be parked over the area through Thursday. Current Temperatures, DMA Temperature Tracker

The high hit 97 degrees in the Triangle on Wednesdayy, and a Code Orange air quality alert warns that sensitive groups, including children, the elderly and people with respiratory illnesses, should limit strenuous activities outdoors.

It's the twelfth day this year that temperatures have hit the 90-degree mark, nearing the record of 13 days by this time in 1953, said WRAL Chief Meteorologist Greg Fishel.

"We may be in for a very long, hot summer," Fishel said.

In the nation's capital, National Weather Service meteorologist Brandon Peloquin said Wednesday's high was predicted to be close to the record 98 degrees set in 1999. The normal high temperature this time of year is about 82.

At the National Zoo, visitors took breaks on benches in the shade and kids cooled off however they could.

"Water!" shouted 8-year-old Amanda Squires when she spotted a misting station as she walked with her school group from Beaverdam, Va.

Her dad, Allen Squires, told her not to get soaking wet. Squires said he and his daughter tried looking at the zoo's cheetah exhibit, but the animals appeared to be hiding from the heat.

Fort Bragg spokesman Ben Abel said one soldier remained hospitalized after suffering heat-related injuries during a 10-km run last week. Commanders in the 82nd Airborne Division were investigating the conditions surrounding the run, which was to have taken place at a pace of a mile every 8½ minutes.

Officials at Fort Jackson in South Carolina, the Army's largest training installation, were taking precautions Wednesday, allowing recruits to adjust their uniforms to get cooler and spend time in the shade during the hottest part of the day.

"We're trying to stay out of the heat," said Christal Leung, 27, a drill sergeant from Beaufort, S.C. "The heat won't stop them from training. ... We're just making small adjustments."

The heat wave has crushed previous record highs in St. Louis and St. Paul, Minn., where the mercury reached 102 degrees on Tuesday and finally melted a giant snow pile in a Sears parking lot.

Public schools in Philadelphia and parts of New Jersey cut their school days short to limit the amount of time students spent in buildings with no air conditioning. Trash collection in D.C. started an hour earlier, and residents were asked not to open fire hydrants to cool off because it reduces water pressure and hampers firefighting.

Some relief in sight

Some relief appears to be on the horizon for the Triangle – by Saturday, the high will dip to 90 degrees, and there'll be a 50 percent chance of rain on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

The mercury could even dip below the 90-degree mark at the start of the next work week.

"We're going to be flirting with the 90-degree mark a few days this weekend and into next week," Fishel said.

The normal highs in North Carolina this time of year are in the mid 80s.

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  • Hans Jun 8, 2011

    "Cold winters and hot summers are not proof of global warming. However, anyone who reviews the science honestly will see that man made climate change is a fact.I know that most everyone has already made up their minds-by the oil and gas company lies- and facts wil make no difference. I hope our kids can survive this ignorance." - THE ETERNAL

    It was the energy companies (Enron, G.E.) that promoted the theory of man-made global warming and have lobbied extensively behind cap and tax. They seek to profit greatly from it, and so do their paid puppets in Washington.

  • spoonman Jun 8, 2011

    Is there anyone who believes in climate change that doesn't believe that man is the cause of it? You don't have to believe both. Incidentally, pollution isn't really that awesome to breathe, dig or drink, regardless if there is climate change.

  • atozca Jun 8, 2011

    "Is global warming still a hoax?" Only if you're an ignorant right winger that gets "science" information from right wing talk shows and websites. Normal folks believe the real scientists and would like to know if there's anything we can/should do about it."

    When I read comments like these, I thank God I am not one of these "normal folks."

    It was this hot in 1953... that was 60 years ago before the later warnings of an ice age that never happened. Christians just happen to believe that God is in control of His creation, not man. I don't care if others believe in global warming, just don't ask me to pay for your solutions.

  • WooHoo2You Jun 8, 2011

    readerman wrote: "Is global warming still a hoax?" Only if you're an ignorant right winger that gets "science" information from right wing talk shows and websites. Normal folks believe the real scientists and would like to know if there's anything we can/should do about it.- geosol

    I work with a couple of guys who are so anti-climate change or whatever you want to call it they BYPASS a recycling bin to throw a can or bottle in the trash. They Are also the same people who will say "blah blah" is destroying America, "blah blah" is destroying the economy. Sad, they don't care about the only planet we have ever or will ever have.

  • geosol Jun 8, 2011

    readerman wrote: "Is global warming still a hoax?" Only if you're an ignorant right winger that gets "science" information from right wing talk shows and websites. Normal folks believe the real scientists and would like to know if there's anything we can/should do about it.

  • THE ETERNAL Jun 8, 2011

    Cold winters and hot summers are not proof of global warming. However, anyone who reviews the science honestly will see that man made climate change is a fact.I know that most everyone has already made up their minds-by the oil and gas company lies- and facts wil make no difference. I hope our kids can survive this ignorance.

  • THE ETERNAL Jun 8, 2011

    Bring it on, I love hot weather...or is that mission accomplished?

  • cheezchicken Jun 8, 2011

    kikinc- you're so right...AC is the best thing invented next to penicillin, the internal combustion engine, toilet paper and chocolate.

  • Pseudonym Jun 8, 2011

    Quote from readerman: "Is global warming still a hoax?"

    Yes. This isn't global warming. It's normal June weather.

    Remember "normal" highs are actually daily averages over 50-some-odd years.

  • cheezchicken Jun 8, 2011

    This weather is MISERABLE DANGEROUS AND UNFAIR!!!!! Summer stinks unless you are living in Nova Scotia! THINK SNOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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