A cool drink and a place in the shade could be important parts of any Rock Hill-area Fathers Day celebration. A full-fledged heat wave is expected to start this weekend.
A more moderate air mass moved into the area Friday and is expected to hang around Saturday, but temperatures are forecast to soar Sunday into the mid 90s. More of the same is predicted into the middle of next week.
“The big story for at least the first half of the week will be the heat,” says National Weather Service meteorologist Justin Lane.
Thursday was Rock Hill's warmest day so far this year, with temperature reaching 93 degrees at the airport. But a weak frontal system pushed through the area early Friday, bringing a wind shift and more tolerable conditions. Highs were expected to reach the upper 80s Friday and Saturday.
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That will change Sunday, when the center of a large high pressure system moves into Tennessee. The Carolinas will be near the center of what essentially will be an atmospheric heat pump for several days. High temperatures around 96 or 97 degrees are expected from Sunday through Wednesday.
While humidity levels will not be excessive, Lane says they will be high enough to push the heat index – the real feeling of heat and humidity combined – past 100 degrees at times.
Rainfall chances will remain low for much of the next week, forecasters say.
After a wet period from late May to early June, conditions have become dry. Only about 1/10 of an inch of rain has fallen in Rock Hill since June 4, and the National Weather Service is calling for only a 30 percent chance of late-afternoon thunderstorms Saturday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Chances will be even lower Sunday and Monday.