Wednesday, June 27, 2012

How hot will it get?

The words "100 degrees" are scary to some people, but anyone who has spent a bit of time in the Charlotte region has lived through those temperatures before and knows it comes with the territory.

We also know that 100 degrees can mean several things, depending on the humidity.

The National Weather Service is forecasting high temperatures in Charlotte of 100 degrees Friday, 103 Saturday, and 100 Sunday. It's possible Monday could hit the 100-degree mark, too.

But it also appears as if the humidity will be rather low through at least Friday. That doesn't mean the inside of your car won't feel like a blast furnace when you unlock the door at 3 p.m., but it also means the atmosphere won't feel like a wet rag.

That was the problem last year. We had a pair of 100-degree days in 2011, but what made the summer somewhat miserable was the persistent high humidity. Want to know when the humidity is up?  Check the morning low temperatures.  If they're in the mid 70s, it's humid. That happened a lot last summer. That's forecast for Saturday through Monday, so be prepared.

Here are a few things I've picked up while looking at the forecast for this weekend and early next week:

Hot 2007 ... It appears as if the upcoming heat wave is the hottest since August 2007. We hit 100 degrees six times that month -- Aug. 8, 9, 10, 16, 21 and 22. It hit 104 degrees on Aug. 9 and 10, 102 on Aug. 8, and 101 degrees the other days.

"Mild" Atlanta ... In many people's minds, Atlanta symbolizes the heat of summer in the South. But it hasn't reached 100 degrees in Atlanta since Aug. 22, 2007 -- nearly five years.  We've had four 100-degree days in Charlotte since then.

The Heat Belt ... Long-time Carolinas residents know that the hottest summer temperatures always take place in a corridor stretching from Augusta, to Columbia, to Florence, and then up through the Fayetteville area. Forecast highs this weekend in that area are about the same as Charlotte, but the humidity is almost always higher there.  Watch for some really high heat index numbers, measuring the combined impact of heat and humidity. It's possible to see 110-degree heat indices in that area this weekend.

Charlotte's 100-degree history ... Here's a look at the last 10 years:

2011: 2 days (July 29, 100; July 30, 101)

2010: 2 days (July 8, 101; July 25, 101)

2009: none

2008: none

2007: 6 days (Aug. 8, 102; Aug. 9, 104; Aug. 10, 104; Aug. 16, 101; Aug. 21, 101; Aug. 22, 101)

2006: none

2005: 2 days (July 26, 100; July 27, 100)

2004: none

2003: none

2002: none


Anonymous said...

Given that these temps are recorded at that special underground lab at the airport, it will probably be 108-110 in my SE Charlotte/Matthews area neighborhood. I'll be easy to spot - I'll be the one curled up in the fetal position in front of an air conditioning vent. Oh, well, Christmas is less than 6 months away...

Old Man said...

Goes to show you how much of an "entitled society" we have become. A/C is something that is taken for granted. Our grandparents lived and worked and slept without it and they did just fine. 104? So what, you ain't dead.

Anonymous said...

Lighten up, Francis. The heat is starting to get to you already.

I wasn't 100% serious. I am a little more heat-sensitive than the average person as I have an extremely light complexion and heat does some bad things to me, but yes, I'll live. I don't think "entitlement" applies here. That's a term for people who expect others/society to give them things for free, just because. I'll have my A/C and I'll pay my higher electric bill next month.

And at least I'm consistent. I'm the one on here cheering loudly whenever there's a chance of snow come winter.

Timothy Whitson said...

@oldman....well, people do die in just this kind of heat and humidity combination. It will likely put a strain on the power grid that may mean brownouts or rolling blackouts. Particularly hit hard will be the homeless, and folks with other medical conditions such as asthma, bronchitis, COPD, as well as cardiac patients. Everyone should have a plan to move their families if necessary, check on older relatives regularly, and keep plenty of water stocked up in the house. I'd have some food you didn't need to cook available for loss of power.

Anonymous said...

The 3500w generator is fueled up and ready to go so if the blackouts happen from strain on the power grid we can pop in the contingency window AC unit which will keep part of the house cool. (3500W generator is not enough juice to run the central AC) The generator will also support the fridge, microwave, coffee pot, and entertainment center. It has come in handy once this year already during a thunderstorm when power was out for nearly 10 hrs. For a few hundred bucks having a generator around is worth the piece of mind. The small 4 gallon gas tank will run for about 12 hours before needing a refill.

Anonymous said...

See the way it works is, that we revolve around this big fiery plantet what's called the Sun. It's real hot. But sometimes it rains. See when it rains, stuff gets wet, and when it's plants what gets wet that when they grow. That and from when the Sun shines we get what you call phtosynthesis. That where tomatoes come from. Native Americans thought tomatoes was poisonous. They sure was wrong about that one, boy, you better believe it.

Anonymous said...

It isn't entitlement. Some people, like my wife, have MS, which has symptoms that are made worse by the heat. Yes, our grandparents lived without AC...but back then people with MS were in wheelchairs at a much earlier age because we didnt understand it as much as we do today. So are you saying that my wife should be forced to endoor the heat even though we know how it will affect her?

I'm going to keep my AC on and keep my wife's symptoms at bay.

Anonymous said...

Amen...The jackass who said buck up and take the heat is clueless. If you work for an hourly wage and it takes you 15 hours of working to afford air conditioning per month than you earned it. Nothing about entitlement there!