Triangle ties daily heat record

The temperature at RDU on Friday afternoon reached 104 degrees, which matched the record high reached on July 29, 1952.

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RALEIGH, N.C. — The Triangle tied the daily record for the hottest temperature at Raleigh-Durham International Airport on Friday, but fell just short of matching the all-time record temperature. 

The temperature at RDU on Friday afternoon reached 104 degrees, which matched the record high reached on July 29, 1952. The Triangle's all-time high of 105 degrees has been reached three times at RDU. 

Humidity made it feel as if it was 105 to 110 degrees Friday. The heat index will leap to over 110 degrees Saturday.

A heat advisory for central and eastern North Carolina cautions that people should limit their outdoor activities, if possible, and pay careful attention for signs of heat illness. The advisory is in effect through 9 p.m. Saturday. 

To help people get relief from the scorching temperatures, Wake Forest is offering area residents free admission at the Holding Park Pool, 133 W. Owen Ave., on Friday. The pool is open until 6 p.m. 

Despite the heat on Friday, postal worker Troy Thorpe walked his route off of Gorman Street. Thorpe, who has been delivering mail for 17 years, said he drinks plenty of water and carries a sweat rag to keep him from getting too overheated.  Thorpe said postal service vehicles have no air conditioning.

The heat didn't discourage farmers from checking out the wholesale produce at the State Farmer's Market in Raleigh in the pre-dawn hours of Friday.

Farmers talked about how they've dealt with the heat.

"I try to keep everything irrigated, keep the soil moist, and that's about all you can do," said Bill Walker, owner of Walker Farms in Randolph County. "We still have a little bit of heat damage, but if you can keep the ground moist, the plants will tolerate it."

Walker said he's been able to irrigate all his plants, and luckily, the heat wave struck after his crops had matured, making them more able to handle the heat.

A front swinging over the state Sunday will bring the best chance for some relative relief from the heat. Isolated showers and storms will help drop the daily high to around 93 degrees.

Highs in the mid 90s will likely continue into the middle of next week.

"It makes you shiver just thinking about it, doesn't it?" WRAL Chief Meteorologist Greg Fishel joked.

The Triangle is creeping up on the record for the most days with temperatures at or above 100 degrees in one year. So far this year, there have been seven days with triple-digit temperatures.

At this point in 1999, there had been six such days. That year, the Triangle saw 12 days with temperatures at or over 100 degrees.

"We're more than halfway there," Fishel said.


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