Weekend could see triple-digit highs

Posted June 26, 2012 9:20 p.m. EDT
Updated June 27, 2012 2:49 p.m. EDT

— Celebrating the Fourth of July a few days early this weekend? If so, be prepared for the hottest weather of the year.

High temperatures could reach 100 degrees or higher during a four-day stretch beginning Friday, WRAL meteorologist Elizabeth Gardner said. 

Temperatures topped out at 81 degrees Tuesday at Raleigh-Durham International Airport and were forecast to climb into the upper 80s Wednesday afternoon as relatively low humidity lingers.

The brief midweek reprieve from oppressive heat and humidity will end Thursday, when temperatures will climb into the mid-90s. Temperatures could top out as high as 101 degrees by Friday afternoon before peaking Saturday at 103 degrees.

Humid air, which began filtering back into the Triangle Wednesday, will make temperatures over the weekend feel more like 108 degrees or higher. 

"As you're planning your weekend, be aware that we could have some dangerous heat," Gardner said. "Even at North Carolina's beaches, temperatures will be well above normal."

Monday's high is forecast to be 100 degrees. Tuesday's is 98 degrees. 

"Friday will begin what could be, at least comparable to, a historic streak here," WRAL Chief Meteorologist Greg Fishel said Tuesday. "Last year, we hit five consecutive days of 100 degrees or higher. Before that, the record was four days, and it only happened twice since World War II."

Afternoon highs could approach historical marks Friday, Saturday and Sunday. 

A chance for afternoon showers and thunderstorms returns to the forecast Monday and Tuesday, but the scattered storms will have little impact on the hot weather, Gardner said. 

"That chance for rain and storms returns early next week, but even then, the extremely hot weather is going to be the story for us," she said.