Fierce weekend heat fires up hottest days of summer

Posted July 22, 2016 6:50 a.m. EDT
Updated July 13, 2018 1:38 p.m. EDT

— Festivals, music and food will highlight the weekend, but triple-digit heat index values threaten to bring dangerous heat to the Triangle.

Temperatures on Saturday will edge into the high 90s, and humidity will make it feel more like 100 degrees outside. Anyone attending the Destination Dix festival at the Dorthea Dix Campus will run into hot weather from start to finish.

"We will call his a hot spell, but not a heat wave because Saturday's heat is not excessive heat," Mike Maze said.

"The criteria for a heat advisory is a heat index around 105 or hotter. We're going to be close to that but not quite there Saturday, " said WRAL meteorologist Elizabeth Gardner. "But probably Sunday and Monday we will see a heat index up around 105."

The chance for a scattered storm sticks around all weekend, but widespread storms are not expected.

"This very hot weather pattern is just not conducive to a lot of showers and storms developing," Gardner said.

Relatively lower temperatures return in the middle of next week: On Tuesday the high is 93, and on Wednesday the high drops to 91.

How to beat the heat

Each year, more than 300 people die in the U.S. due to the effects of heat illness. But surviving the heat can be as easy as a little planning ahead and common sense.

Wake County EMS Assistant Chief Jeffrey Hammerstein said that while children are particularly at risk for heat illness, anyone is susceptible.

"Make sure that you drink before you're thirsty. Thirst itself is actually a late sign of being dehydrated," he said. "And if you feel those other things like disorientation, dizziness, confusion, muscle cramps – make yourself stop, get cooled and get those fluids back in before you go on."

With festivals and concerts around the Triangle Saturday and Sunday, Hammerstein said he expects it to be a busy weekend for EMS workers.

"If you find yourself starting to get in trouble, do not hesitate to callus," he said. "The other thing to remember - things like soft drinks, coffee and alcohol don't count as fluid replacement. Those actually end up drawing more fluids back out of us and can kind of become dangerous."

Other recommendations include:

  • Wearing light-colored and loose-fitting clothing
  • Taking breaks from the direct sun
  • Brining fluid with you to all activities
  • Wearing sunscreen