Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Early Heat Wave

By the end of this week, it will feel like we bypassed June and July and headed straight for August. A heat wave is in the forecast beginning Thursday and Friday, and it's not even officially summer yet! Afternoon temperatures are expected to reach the mid 90s by the end of the week. Some upper 90s are even possible in the Sandhills on Thursday. When you factor in the humidity, those late week temperatures may feel more like 100 or 105.

We'll have to watch the upcoming heat wave closely not only because of health dangers related to heat but also because of the danger of creeping back into a drought. Earlier this spring, rain brought much need relief to the drought in our part of the state. However, last week, we saw the area of extreme drought in western North Carolina expand. With temperatures rising to the mid 90s, evaporation rates will rise this week. Water usage may very well rise as well. A few isolated thunderstorms may pop up during the afternoons with daytime heating, but these summer-like storms do not provide widespread soaking rains. Instead, the isolated storms usually produce brief locally heavy downpours that do not provide the widespread rains needed to alleviate a drought.

The upcoming heat wave may last for a while. Computer models show signs of highs staying in the mid 90s through at least the first half of next week. Stay tuned to Weather on the Ones and News 14 Carolina for updates on this early start to summer...

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