High Temps Hit N.C. Early

Posted June 8, 2007 5:25 p.m. EDT
Updated June 8, 2007 6:03 p.m. EDT

— Near-record temperatures Friday had people outdoors reaching for water, searching for some shade and longing for a little air conditioning.

High temperatures reached the mid-90s across much of central North Carolina, but humidity made it feel like well over 100 degrees, WRAL Meteorologist Mike Maze said. Goldsboro reached a heat index of 107 degrees Friday afternoon, while Raleigh topped out at 103 degrees, he said.

"It's the hottest day we've had this season so far. I noticed it when I woke up this morning, walked out the door and (said) 'Whoa,'" said Wes Black, a parking enforcement officer in Fayetteville.

Fayetteville Fire Department officials said they hadn't seen an outbreak of heat-related emergencies, such as stroke and exhaustion. But they recommended that people stay hydrated, avoid alcohol and take occasional breaks from the sun and heat.

That advice applies especially to small children and the elderly, who health officials said are the most vulnerable to the heat.

Fort Bragg was under a "yellow watch" Friday. It's one of five categories of heat advisories for the Army and requires soldiers to take a 30-minute break for every 30 minutes of hard work and to drink a quart of water an hour.

From 2003 to 2004, more than 2,600 heat injuries were reported throughout the Army. Eleven soldiers died from heat stroke and heat-related illnesses, and nearly 300 soldiers required hospital stays during that period.

Meanwhile, bicyclist Ron Ludwigsen kept his cool Friday while on a 32-mile ride around Fayetteville and Hope Mills.

“I’m 58 years old, and about two years ago in Florida, it was about 103 degrees and I did 82 miles,” Ludwigsen said. "I'm not really sweating much, either. I'm kind of used to it, (and) I don't have air conditioning."

Maze said relief was on the way. A cold front is expected to pass over North Carolina Saturday afternoon, bringing temperatures in the 80s to the region on Sunday.