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Charlotte soon to pass annual average of 90-degree-plus days

Brett Sheridan, 5 of Charlotte, cools off in the fountain at Romare Bearden Park in Uptown while temps reach the upper 90s on Monday, July 13, 2015.
Brett Sheridan, 5 of Charlotte, cools off in the fountain at Romare Bearden Park in Uptown while temps reach the upper 90s on Monday, July 13, 2015. rlahser@charlotteobserver.com

You’re right – it has been hotter lately.

And it probably will stay that way.

Monday marked the 31st day of the year that Charlotte temperatures reached at least 90 degrees. A normal year sees only 35 days that hot, according to the National Weather Service.

“You’re going to exceed the normal values (for a year) this week,” NWS meteorologist Larry Gabric said.

Predicted highs this week will simmer between about 92 and 94 degrees before spiking to about 97 on Saturday.

It’s early in the year to already have reached a month’s worth of 90-degree days, but the record is a long way off.

In 1954, there were 88 days that the thermometer reached into the 90s. Charlotte almost reached that record in 2010, with 87 days.

If temperatures were to pass 90 degrees every day this summer, the record would be set in early September.

Overall, June was nearly 5 degrees hotter than normal, and July has been nearly 3 degrees above normal. The NWS predicts the rest of the summer is more likely to be hotter than normal than colder than normal.

88 record number of 90-degree-plus days in a year, set in 1954

35 90-degree-plus days in a typical year

31 90-degree-plus days already in 2015

When a record-setting heat wave struck Charlotte in mid-June, emergency responders saw a swell in heat-related calls, Medic spokesman Lester Oliva said.

That week, EMS treated more people for heat-related emergencies than they did in all of June 2014.

Since then, the numbers have dropped, but the coming week, in which highs are expected to hit at least 92 degrees every day, may pose more problems. Medic had four heat-related calls Friday, when it typically deals with about one a day in summer, Oliva said.

High temperatures can lead to heat exhaustion and heat stroke, and can trigger other medical conditions.

Oliva said heat-related medical emergencies disproportionately affect the very young and very old, but anyone is at risk.

“The best thing is to drink plenty of water,” he said. “If you have any underlying medical condition… you probably should not try to do anything that requires a lot of movement and work during the peak heat times.”

Taylor: 704-358-5353; Twitter: @LangstonITaylor

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