Predicted temperatures in the mid and upper 90s and heat indices above 100 degrees have authorities reminding Rock Hill-area residents and others in the Carolinas this week to follow hot weather safety guidelines.
“The heat will be a concern,” National Weather Service meteorologist Andrew Kimball said Monday, with afternoon highs in Rock Hill expected to reach 95-97 degrees daily through Thursday.
Drink plenty of water and limit exposure to heat, authorities say. Rock Hill residents also are encouraged to make sure fans or air conditioning are available for the elderly and chronically ill – and to care of pets.
While the heat and humidity will not be record-breaking, temperatures are expected to be well above average, and it will be the first prolonged heat wave of the season.
Area residents got a taste on Fathers Day, when the temperature reached 93 degrees at 4 p.m. in Rock Hill. The heat index, which measures the combined impact of heat and humidity, reached 101 degrees. Sunday’s high also hit 93 degrees in Chester and Lancaster.
Combined with the heat has been an abrupt change in the rainfall pattern. After a wet late May and beginning of June, precipitation has been sparse the last two weeks. And meteorologists see little chance of rain in the area until Thursday or Friday.
The peak of the uncomfortable conditions is expected Tuesday and Wednesday.
“Much of the Piedmont along and southeast of I-85 will likely see heat index values in the 100-104 range both afternoons, although a few locations could flirt with 105 or greater,” Kimball said.
Air temperatures are predicted to reach 100 degrees in the Sandhills, where heat indices are forecast to peak between 105 and 110 degrees.
There’s a bit of good news for the Rock Hill area.
Residents won’t have to worry about air quality, as the predicted ozone levels are below advisory or warning levels Monday and Tuesday. That is not the case for the Charlotte area, where a Code Orange advisory for high ozone levels was in effect Monday.
Meteorologists expect a brief break in the pattern beginning Thursday or Friday and extending through Saturday. A weak front is predicted to sag into the area Friday, cutting temperatures a few degrees (highs in the low 90s) and increasing shower and thunderstorm chances.
But strong high pressure is forecast to reassert itself by Sunday, and that means a return of the heat wave.