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Charlotte reached its highest temperature of 2019 this week. How long will this last?

Fall is acting a whole lot like summer in Charlotte so far — even hotter than summer, according to the National Weather Service.

Charlotte Douglas International Airport recorded its highest temperature of 2019 on Wednesday. It was 99 degrees at 3:37 p.m., the weather service said on social media.

The normal high for Oct. 2?

A comfortable 76 degrees, said NWS meteorologist Steve Wilkinson.

And the sultry weather (yes, sultry means “hot and humid”) is expected to linger two more days. Then, Wilkinson said, temperatures are expected to suddenly plummet to more fall-like conditions.

Thursday’s temperature at CLT hit 97 degrees at 2:52 p.m., according to the NWS. The forecast high for the day was 98.

Friday’s high may reach the mid-90s, before temperatures drop, Wilkinson said.

“It may not get to 70 on Saturday,” he said.

Wednesday’s high in Charlotte bested the previous historic high for Oct. 2, which was 92 degrees in 1986, according to NWS records.

And Wednesday’s temp topped the previous historical high for any day in October in Charlotte: 98 degrees on Oct. 6, 1954, Wilkinson said. And back then, many homes in the South did not have central air conditioning.

For now, expect little immediate relief.

A ridge of high pressure, responsible for the unusually hot October temperatures, is forecast to stick around the Carolinas through Friday, according to Wilkinson. The ground, meanwhile, has been dry, which can add several degrees to the temperature, he said.

As for the other hot months of 2019, the highest recorded temperature in May was 95, in June was 94, in July was 98 and in August was 96, Wilkinson said.

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Joe Marusak has been a reporter for The Charlotte Observer since 1989 covering the people, municipalities and major news events of the region, and was a news bureau editor for the paper. He currently reports on breaking news.
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