High temperatures above normal

Posted June 22, 2010 5:20 a.m. EDT
Updated June 22, 2010 9:45 p.m. EDT

— The hot, humid days of summer are ahead for central North Carolina.

Tuesday and Wednesday are expected to see mostly sunny skies and highs in the mid- and upper 90s, WRAL meteorologist Mike Moss said.

“Even though its summer we are above normal for late June,” he said.

The heat index values Tuesday afternoon reached about 99 degrees in the Triangle into the lower 100s from Fayetteville southward. By Thursday, the Triangle could see heat index values around 105.

A large high pressure ridge is building over the Plains and moving eastward so as the week goes on, the heat should increase.

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.

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 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.