No heat relief in sight
Published 1:11 am Tuesday, August 9, 2011
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.