The heat could hit dangerous levels Wednesday, especially for the elderly and people working outside. Forecasters issued an urgent weather warning about sweltering conditions expected Wednesday.
A heat advisory is in effect from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. for much of central and eastern North Carolina.
Forecasts call for temperatures in the mid-90s Wednesday and Thursday. The heat index – a measure of temperature plus humidity that represents how hot it really feels outside – will be 102-105 degrees across much of central North Carolina.
“The heat indices will be most likely above 100 (degrees) and in some cases in the southern counties, like around Fayetteville, it could be around 107,” said Ryan Ellis, a meteorologist in the National Weather Service’s Raleigh forecast office.
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The 14 counties included in the alert are Cumberland, Edgecombe, Franklin, Johnston, Halifax, Harnett, Hoke, Nash, Sampson, Scotland, Wake, Warren, Wayne and Wilson.
In a hazardous weather outlook issued for Wednesday, the Weather Service predicts it will feel like somewhere between 100 and 104 degrees each afternoon Wednesday through Friday in central North Carolina.
“It’s humidity and we have an upper-level ridge over the area, which tends to bring heat in this situation,” Ellis said.
A cool-off period – if you can call it one – is expected to begin this weekend with temperatures in the upper 80s and heat index back in the low-to-mid 90s range.
The weather service offers the following tips on its heat safety web page:
▪ Limit strenuous outdoor activity
▪ On job sites, stay hydrated and take breaks in the shade
▪ Indoors, check on the elderly, the sick and those without air conditioning
▪ Never leave kids or pets unattended inside a vehicle