More triple-digit highs this weekend before heat relief
Another weekend of triple-digit temperatures is on tap for the Triangle, with the mercury expected to hit 104 on Saturday.Posted — Updated
The high-pressure system that rolled in from the Midwest Thursday will remain throughout the weekend, bringing scorching heat and humidity to the region.
Saturday's high is expected to reach 102 at Raleigh-Durham International Airport. The normal high temperature is 90 degrees.
Heat indices as high as 109 degrees are possible, and the National Weather Service has issued heat advisories for Friday and Saturday for the Triangle and all of eastern North Carolina.
The North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources also issued a "Code Orange" health notice, meaning air quality is likely to be unhealthy for children and older adults, for people who work outdoors and others with health issues.
Meanwhile, the temperature at RDU soared to 100 degrees by 5 p.m. Friday – a degree short of the average high over the past week.
"It's incredible to think just how long this heat wave has lasted," Gardner said.
Over the past seven days, five daily high-temperature records have been broken, and the all-time record of 105 degrees has been tied twice, she said.
Much welcome relief from the muggy heat is around the corner, as high temperatures are forecast to drop to the low 90s on Monday and reach the low to mid-80s by mid next week.
Since the extreme temperatures started last week, Rex Hospital in Raleigh says it has had only 10 diagnosed cases of heat-related illnesses in its emergency department.
"Our emergency department doctors have been pleasantly surprised that people are staying hydrated, taking breaks and avoiding strenuous activities," Rex media relations coordinator Alan Wolf said.
Most of those cases were the result of people failing to heed warnings about exerting themselves during the hottest parts of the day, he added.
WakeMed Health & Hospitals reported Friday morning 31 visits for heat-related illnesses to its emergency rooms across Wake County since last Thursday.
In the meantime, everyone is just trying to keep as cool and comfortable as possible.
At The Players' Retreat in Raleigh, for example, patrons wanting to brave the heat for outdoor dining are keeping their cool under water misters that the restaurant installed.
The restaurant installed the misters recently, and although some say it's a kind of unusual to eat as they're being lightly sprayed with water, they're about 20 degrees cooler than everyone else.
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