With summer in full swing, temperatures in the Triangle are expected to remain in the upper 90s this week, and heat advisories are expected, according to the National Weather Service.
Triangle residents likely won’t see highs lower than 95 this week. Hot and humid weather is expected to continue at least through Wednesday, with heat index values peaking each day between 100 and 105 degrees. The heat index is the measurement of what temperature it feels like when humidity and wind are taken into account.
Monday is expected to be sunny and hot with a high near 97 and a heat index of 103. Tuesday won’t be much better, with a high near 96 and a slight chance of rain Tuesday night. Wednesday may bring a better chance of rain and thunderstorms, but the temperatures likely won’t improve, with a high expected near 96, according to the weather service.
Being in direct sunlight can make temperatures in the upper 90s feel even worse, according to the weather service, and can lead to a greater risk of heat illness, so those looking to enjoy their summers despite the extreme heat on Sunday turned to the water to cool off.
At Tucker Lake in Benson, dozens of people from all over Johnston, Harnett and Wake counties enjoyed bright white sand and the spring-filled man-made lake at 3025 Allens Crossroads Road.
Corey Puktus of Raleigh and his son, 6-year-old C.J., made their second trip to the lake.
“We really liked it a lot,” Puktus said, while C.J. nodded and continued to enjoy his ice cream. “We would definitely come back.
“There aren’t a lot of places around here to cool off and it’s been so hot. This was a nice way to be outside and not be overwhelmed with the heat.”
Taylor Medlin and Katherine Limbouris are from Raleigh but had been by Tucker Lake on the way to visit Medlin’s mom in Wilmington.
“We had driven by it so many times that we wanted to come and check it out,” Medlin said.
But even with the white sand and clear lake water, the sun was too much for Medlin and Limbouris, who were packing up an umbrella, chairs and other beach supplies to seek shelter from the heat elsewhere.
“We liked it a lot,” Limbouris said. “We had a really good time.”
“We’d definitely come back,” Medlin added. “But it’s just too hot today. It’s been insanely hot lately and there’s not much you can do about it.”
Mary Johnson and her daughter, 8-year-old Ana, were busy splashing at the lake shore’s edge but cut that short to liberally reapply sunscreen.
“We love to come out here but it’s been too hot lately and we can’t stay out too long without getting too hot or burning,” Johnson said. “You just do your best and drink water and stay in the water or the shade.”
In Selma, residents cooled off Sunday at a neighborhood pool on Griswold Street that also serves ice cream.
Laura Michaels, of Selma, and her 11-year-old son Kyle, visited the pool with Michaels’ sister, Kara James of Raleigh and her son, 10-year-old Aiden.
“It’s hard to find activities when it’s this hot that are safe or that are fun for more than a few minutes,” James said. “Pools or something like that are pretty much it.”
Heat relief in Raleigh
But not everyone can access a pool, lake or even air conditioning.
The Raleigh Rescue Mission on East Hargett Street is seeing a spike in demand for its shelter services.
When temperatures reach 96 degrees or above, the mission implements its white flag program, a Wake County initiative to shelter as many people as possible during the extreme heat. The mission also provides aid for residents experiencing heat exhaustion or other heat-related issues.
“Many people in our community think the homeless are only vulnerable during extremely cold months,” said Lynn Daniels, executive director of the mission. “Although this is true, the extreme heat and high humidity days are also a threat to those who live on the street. We respond to both extreme conditions.”
The weather service encourages people to avoid exerting themselves, drink plenty of fluids and stay in air-conditioned areas, out of the sun to avoid heat illness. People also were encouraged to check on relatives and neighbors during bouts of extreme heat.
Abbie Bennett: 919-553-7234, Ext. 101; @AbbieRBennett
Animal care tips
Humans aren’t the only ones in danger with high temperatures forecast for the rest of the summer. PETA provides tips for animal safety during extreme heat.
Keep dogs indoors: Unlike people, dogs can only sweat through their footpads and cool themselves by panting. High temperatures can cause heat stress, injury or death.
Provide water and shade: When outside, animals need fresh water and ample shade.
Walk, don’t run: Don’t put unnecessary strain on dogs by making them run.
Avoid hot cars: Never leave an animal in a parked car in warm weather, even for short periods with windows partially rolled down.
Avoid hot pavement: In hot weather, asphalt can reach 140 degrees or more, causing pain, burns and other injuries to animals’ paws after just a few minutes of contact.
If you see an animal showing any symptoms of heatstroke – including restlessness, heavy panting, vomiting, lethargy and lack of appetite or coordination, get the animal into the shade immediately and lower its body temperature by providing it with water, applying a cold towel to its head and chest or immersing it in tepid (not ice cold) water. Then immediately call a veterinarian.