Air quality alert extended, temps push into high 90s

Posted July 6, 2010 5:14 a.m. EDT
Updated July 6, 2010 9:21 p.m. EDT

— Temperatures pushed into the high 90s Tuesday at Raleigh Durham International Airport and the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources extended the Code Orange air quality alert for the Triangle and other parts of the state through Wednesday night.

"Some parts of the area saw 99 degrees, but I would not be surprised if we hit 100 today," WRAL meteorologist Mike Maze said.

Code Orange means the air is unhealthy for sensitive groups, such as active children and adults and people with respiratory disease, such as asthma. They should limit prolonged outdoor exertion.

Get information about codes green, yellow, orange, red and purple.

Maze forecast another day of triple-digit temperatures on Wednesday before the heat abates a bit by the end of the week, when an offshore low-pressure system could bring some much needed rain to North Carolina.

"(Wednesday) will be the hottest day of the heat wave and the most uncomfortable," said WRAL meteorologist Elizabeth Gardner.

The hot, dry weather will tax area lawns and flower beds. Several area cities, including Raleigh and Cary, have year-round water restrictions in place, preventing residents from using sprinklers more than three days a week.

Johnston County recently issued a water shortage advisory because its distribution system couldn't keep up with demand for water. The advisory asked people to refrain from outdoor irrigation and washing cars.