Front brings relief from triple-digit heat

Posted July 14, 2011 5:40 a.m. EDT

— After scorching temperatures and heat index readings in the triple digits, central North Carolina will get a little relief the rest of the week.

Highs are expected to reach into the upper 80s with less humidity on Thursday. 

"What a glorious day we are in for," WRAL meteorologist Elizabeth Gardner said.

Highs are expected to stay in the 80s through Sunday, with little chance of rain. 

Temperatures will still be warm, but nothing like the weather that blanketed the area in past few days, Gardner said. 

On Tuesday, the mercury in the Triangle climbed to 100 degrees at Raleigh-Durham International Airport, beating the 1986 record of 99 degrees to set a record for the date. Heat indexes in central North Carolina ranged from 105 to 112 degrees.

The Triangle fell just short of reaching 100 degrees on Wednesday afternoon, before showers and thunderstorms rolled into the area, bringing quarter-sized hail, heavy rain, damaging wind gusts and cloud-to-ground lightning to several counties in the WRAL viewing area, said WRAL Chief Meteorologist Greg Fishel.

Granville County resident Tim Chitsey returned home Wednesday to find that a tree had smashed in his roof and wall on Brooks Bend Road.

"The tree is obviously punctured through the room, so we have drywall that is broken up (and) water that is leaking in," he said.