RALEIGH — By the calendar, summer arrives Saturday. By any other measure, it will start a few days earlier.
Forecasters expect temperatures to reach 95 degrees around the Triangle on Tuesday, and by Wednesday the heat could reach 98 degrees. Summer’s saturating humidity could make the heat wave feel as hot as 104 degrees across central North Carolina.
The region also may see poorer air quality on Tuesday. The National Weather Service has issued an orange-level “air quality alert” for 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday, warning that ground-level ozone concentrations may be unhealthy for older adults, children and people with lung disease.
The high temperature is expected to hit 98 again Thursday before falling a couple of degrees Friday and leveling out around 90 on Saturday, the first day of the new season, according to the weather service.
As the week proceeds, the area will have a slight but increasing chance of rainy respite, especially in the afternoons. And the nights should cool down to the low to mid-70s.