No record temp expected, but storms may roll again

Most of the Triangle was able to escape a heat advisory Thursday, but the area could see more thunderstorms like ones that brought down trees Wednesday night and were blamed for a building fire in Durham early Thursday.

The area still could touch Thursday’s record high temperature.

Thursday’s record at Raleigh-Durham International Airport is 98 degrees in 1944, and the National Weather Service’s forecast for Wake County for Thursday was 98 degrees.

However, the dew point – a temperature that meteorologists measure to indicate when the air cannot hold any more moisture and then use to calculate relative humidity – will be down.

The heat index, which is a product of heat and humidity and tells how warm it feels to a human being, will be about 100, the forecast said.

Forecasters have to expect an index of 105 or more for three hours to issue a heat advisory. That likely will be the case in Johnston County and east and south of the Triangle, the weather service said.

Not having an official advisory posted does not mean, however, that it is a good idea to spend long periods outdoors or to take up strenuous exercise again. Experts still caution people to take frequent breaks and to drink liquids often.

And, the weather service said, heat advisories for the rest of the Triangle likely will be back again “Sunday and Monday, when conditions will be dangerous.”

Thursday night and early Friday may again see “hit-or-miss showers” and “pop-up thunderstorms” like those experienced Wednesday night and Thursday morning.

In Durham, fire investigators blamed a lightning strike for a fire that broke out at a three-story apartment building on Windlestraw Drive when a storm rolled through the area about 4:30 a.m.

Trees came down in places Wednesday night, including one on a house on Honeysuckle Lane in Cary and one that closed East Franklin Street in Chapel Hill.

There was street flooding reported in Raleigh, and hail ranging from a half-inch to 1.25 inches was reported in places in Wake County on Wednesday night.