Weather

Summer's start a hot one

Posted June 21, 2010 9:11 a.m. EDT
Updated June 21, 2010 6:21 p.m. EDT

— Don't expect any more breaks from the scorching heat.

Even though it's been hot for weeks, Monday marks the official start of summer, and temperatures this week are expected to peak in the mid- to upper 90s before dropping slightly by the weekend.

Monday's high in Raleigh reached 93 degrees and the high is forecast to climb to 97 on Tuesday and Wednesday. Heat indices will make outside temperatures feel like 105 degrees by the end of the week.

"It looks like the heat is really going to get fierce as the week goes on," WRAL meteorologist Mike Maze said.

Temperatures have also prompted the National Weather Service to issue a "Code Orange" air quality alert for Tuesday, meaning adults and children, especially those with respiratory diseases, should limit prolonged outdoor activity.

That alert is in effect for much of central North Carolina, including Chatham, Durham, Franklin, Granville, Johnston, Orange, Person, Vance and Wake counties.

For the children at A.E. Finley YMCA in Raleigh, the intense heat coincides with Water Week, where all outdoor activities revolve around staying wet and cool.

Even when it's not Water Week though, summertime heat is a constant concern, YMCA Associate Executive Director Yo Sobha says.

About 525 young people attend the 10-week outdoor camp in the summer.

"Every one of our kids swims every single day throughout the week. We also have shaded areas and wooded areas that we go and have activities," he said. "We have water coolers throughout our campus, and we have indoor and outdoor activities to give our kids a break from the heat."

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, staying hydrated with nonalcoholic, sugar-free fluids and limiting outdoor activity are the best defenses to help avoid heat-related illnesses.

Alcohol and fluids with large amounts of sugar actually cause the body to lose more fluid.

Other safety tips include:

  • Don't wait until you are thirsty to drink.
  • Stay indoors in an air-conditioned place, if possible, and limit outdoor activity to morning and evening hours.
  • If outdoors, don't be alone. Use the buddy system to monitor each other for heat-related illnesses. Try to take frequent breaks in shaded areas
  • Avoid rigorous outdoor exercise.
  • Electric fans will not help prevent heat-related illnesses when temperatures reach the high 90s.
  • Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothes.
  • Wear a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses and sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher to protect from the sun.