WRAL WeatherCenter Blog

A record we'd rather miss!

Posted July 25, 2011 7:29 a.m. EDT

Temperature outlook for the 6-10 day period from the Climate Prediction Center, showing above-normal readings likely across much of the country through early August.

The heat wave that's been so persistent across the eastern U.S. recently managed yesterday to bring us the record we'd been talking about since the middle of last week, as the temperature at RDU reached 100 degrees or higher for the 5th consecutive. Since records began at the airport in 1944, there have been two other occasions when we hit triple digits 4 days in a row. The first was 20-23 August 1983, and then more recently the same thing happened over the span of 7-10 June 2008. Now we've topped that list with 100, 102, 103, 103 and 101 degrees respectively over the period 20-24 July 2011.

It appears we have a good chance to end the streak today, with the high likely topping out in the upper 90s, but that's a close enough call that we can't guarantee that the record will not be extended by a day. So far for the year, we've had a total of 6 days reaching 100 or more, compared to a record of 12 back in 1999. It does look as if we could add a couple more such days to our total later this week or next, while beyond that we just don't have a good way of projecting whether temperatures will stay that far above normal.

For those of you a little farther south, the Fayetteville airport has also reached 100 or better for 5 straight days. While records for the airport are not readily available going way back, another climate reporting station for Fayetteville with records stretching much farther back shows a maximum stretch of 8 consecutive days that hot in July 1940, with several stretches of 6 days in a row reported through the years.