Summer may not officially arrive until Sunday, but record-setting heat is already here.
After setting two all-time highs earlier this week, meteorologists expect the 90-degree-plus heat to continue into next week, although probably not hot enough to break records.
Tuesday’s record was reached when temperatures hit 98 degrees around 2 p.m., passing the 1994 record of 97 degrees. Monday’s high of 99 degrees broke a record set in 1890.
National Weather Service meteorologist Jeffrey Taylor said Wednesday’s 1943 record high of 100 degrees will be harder to break, with highs likely to be in the mid-90s.
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Normal highs for this week would be in the mid- to upper-80s, according to the weather service. This time last year, highs were in the low 90s.
“It is warmer than usual, but it’s not unprecedented,” Taylor said.
Rain could help
A chance of rain later in the week might cool things down, Taylor said.
The NWS predicts a 30 percent chance of thunderstorms Wednesday night into Thursday, with a continued threat of showers and thunderstorms through Saturday.
But the rain might be sporadic, and Taylor said it probably won’t cover all areas of Charlotte.
He said a high atmospheric pressure system that parked itself over the Southeast is causing the heat, and it probably won’t dissipate until the weekend.
Medic: 14 heat-related 911 calls
Medic spokesman Lester Oliva said the Mecklenburg 911 emergency call center received three heat-related calls Tuesday, bringing the total to 14 since Saturday. Callers complained of breathing problems, chest pains and fainting.
Oliva said people should watch for abnormal or confused behavior.
“Decreased level of consciousness is a big sign for heat stroke,” he said.
Watch pets, too
Charlotte Veterinary Emergency and Trauma Services have not seen an increased number of animal patients since the heat wave began early this week, but it’s not unusual to have heat-related illnesses in the ER during the summer.
“I’m sure the longer the heat continues that will go up,” said Dr. Jason Scott, medical director for C-VETS. “Just not yet.”
One example of how hard the heat can be on pets: On Sunday in Rock Hill, a woman was charged with ill treatment of animals after a dog died in a crate outside with no water.
Ice pops are in season
Karen Trauner, owner of the Charlotte-based ice-cream truck Sticks and Cones, said customers prefer ice pops on really hot days because they are less likely to melt.
“We will be serving shaved ice at Food Truck Friday (in South End) because soft-serve ice cream tends to suffer a bit when it’s too hot outside,” she said.