Heat is here; storms could follow

Posted July 20, 2010 7:08 p.m. EDT
Updated July 21, 2010 9:17 p.m. EDT

— Strong thunderstorms are possible again Wednesday evening as the heat index climbs into the triple digits.

"Heat index values could climb to between 102 and 107. If you are working or playing outside, make sure you remain well-hydrated," said WRAL meteorologist Elizabeth Gardner.

By 3 p.m., the temperature at WRAL Studios in Raleigh was 95 degrees, but it felt like 107.

"There is a slight possibility for storms from Cumberland County all the way north to the state line," WRAL meteorologist Mike Maze said. Any storms that develop could be capable of producing damaging winds, frequent lightning and scattered showers.

"There is a disturbance over southern Kentucky and eastern Tennessee that could bring some storms our way later this evening," he said.

More ways to stay safe in hot weather

Temperatures could climb to 100 degrees Thursday and Friday with high humidity making it feel as if it were at least 110 degrees.

"We expect the greatest heat to be upon us starting (Thursday) and lasting through Sunday," Gardner said. "Heat advisories may be issued in the coming days to remind us about the dangerous heat."

Cumberland County authorities urged people to stay inside in an air-conditioned space as the temperatures soared, recommending county recreation centers or public libraries as respite from the heat.

The Cumberland County Department of Social Services office, at 1225 Ramsey St., also planned to open an auxiliary lobby Wednesday and any time during the summer when the heat index is expected to surpass 100 degrees. The lobby is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.