No heat relief in sight

Published 1:11 am Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Members of the Washington Swim Club find the best way to beat the heat is by lounging in the pool Monday afternoon. (WDN Photo/Christ Prokos)

High pressure system continues to bring record heat to region

Eastern North Carolina’s weather is akin to how eastern North Carolina barbecue is made — slowly roasting a whole hog with dry heat and, from time to time, basting it with barbecue sauce.

There’s no doubt eastern North Carolina is slowly roasting with temperatures and heat indices in the upper 90s to triple digits. The “basting” comes with the occasional rains from storm systems moving across the eastern segment of North Carolina.

Beaufort County and other counties in the east were under yet another heat advisory Monday, and the region is expected to be under a heat advisory today. Today’s high is forecast to be 98, with the heat index expected to reach 105 degrees.

A heat advisory means a period of hot temperatures is expected, with the combination of hot temperatures and high humidity creating a situation in which heat-related illnesses are possible.

Expect more of the same throughout the week, said Hal Austin, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service office in Newport.

“The main factor is a persistent ridge of high pressure over the area,” Austin explained when asked why the high temperatures linger. “It looks like the heat is going to continue this week.”

Austin said the high-pressure system remains settled over the southeastern U.S. because no other weather system has been strong enough to push it out of the region.

“It’s been over the Southeast at the surface and aloft,” Austin said of the high-pressure ridge.

A cold front could make its way into eastern North Carolina during the upcoming weekend, bringing showers and thunderstorms, Austin said.

Meanwhile, people are keeping the dangers of heat-related problems in mind.

“On these high-heat days, we keep these guys inside as much as possible,” said Robbie Rose, chief of the Washington Fire-Rescue-EMS Department, when asked what precautions the department is taking when training its firefighters/EMTs. “If we have to do things outside, we do then as early in the day as possible.”

Rose said the department makes sure its personnel hydrate themselves and take other precautions to protect themselves from the heat.

About Mike Voss

Mike Voss is the contributing editor at the Washington Daily News. He has a daughter and four grandchildren. Except for nearly six years he worked at the Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg, Va., in the early to mid-1990s, he has been at the Daily News since April 1986.
Journalism awards:
• Pulitzer Prize for Meritorious Public Service, 1990.
• Society of Professional Journalists: Sigma Delta Chi Award, Bronze Medallion.
• Associated Press Managing Editors’ Public Service Award.
• Investigative Reporters & Editors’ Award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Public Service Award, 1989.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Investigative Reporting, 1990.
All those were for the articles he and Betty Gray wrote about the city’s contaminated water system in 1989-1990.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Investigative Reporting, 1991.
• North Carolina Press Association, Third Place, General News Reporting, 2005.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Lighter Columns, 2006.
Recently learned he will receive another award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Lighter Columns, 2010.
4. Lectured at or served on seminar panels at journalism schools at UNC-Chapel Hill, University of Maryland, Columbia University, Mary Washington University and Francis Marion University.

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