Richmond County and most of North Carolina have been under heat advisory by the National Weather Service all week, and will continue into the weekend. The excessive heat watch that was in place for most of the week is now no longer in effect.
Temperatures and the heat index have measured more than 100 degrees, with a maximum heat index around 105. High temperatures today are expected to range from 97 to 101 degrees, with maximum heat indices of 104 to 107 degrees.
The heat will be most dangerous from late morning through sunset today. Temperatures will be slow to fall below 80 degrees, particularly in urban areas where temperatures may exceed 80 degrees well after midnight.
Prolonged exposure to these hot and humid conditions can quickly lead to dehydration and heat stroke. A heightened chance of illnesses will be due to the temperatures. Watch for signs of heat illness, including dizziness, confusion, headache and extreme thirst.
Drink plenty of fluids, stay in an air-conditioned room and stay out of the sun, advises the National Weather Service. They also suggest checking in on relatives and neighbors, especially the elderly.
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.
The long-range forecast in the 2011 Farmer’s Almanac said, “Summer will be cooler than normal, with rainfall below normal in the north and slightly above normal in the south. The hottest temperatures will be in early July and mid-August. Expect a hurricane in the second week of June. September and October will be cooler and drier than normal.”
So far, the prediction has been mostly true; however, the first three hurricanes of the season, Arlene, Bret and Cindy, never made it north of Florida, and posed no threat to us.