'Prepare for the heat' as summer-like temps arrive

Posted May 8, 2014 6:59 a.m. EDT
Updated May 8, 2014 8:38 a.m. EDT

Temperature forecast, Thursday, May 8, 2014

— The warmest air of 2014 will arrive in central and eastern North Carolina Thursday afternoon, pushing daytime highs into the 90s for the first time since mid-September. 

Afternoon highs will likely top out near 91 degrees, WRAL meteorologist Elizabeth Gardner said, about 4 degrees short of the record high for May 8 at Raleigh-Durham International Airport.

High temperatures in early May normally top out in the upper 70s. 

"We'll be sunny across the entire Triangle today, and we're going to see temperatures climb quickly after the sun comes up," Gardner said. "We could be in the mid-80s by lunchtime."

Despite the noticeably warmer temperatures, humidity won't be a major concern Thursday afternoon, Gardner said. Southwesterly winds could gust between 10 and 20 mph.

Summer-like temperatures and sunshine will stay put on the final day of the work week, as Friday's highs will once again climb into the low 90s. 

"Be prepared for the warm air to stick around," Gardner said. "Temperatures will cool a bit early next week, but it's still going to be above normal. Make sure to stay hydrated if you're working or playing outside."

Afternoon showers and storms are possible Saturday and Sunday, although neither day will be a washout. Highs Saturday will climb to 80 degrees, and they will return to the mid-80s Sunday.

Overnight lows during the next week will be in the low-to mid-60s.