Summer heat for Charlotte – and Air Quality Alert

After several weeks of nearly daily showers or thunderstorms in parts of the Charlotte region, conditions will turn quieter and hotter for at least the next five to seven days. It could be the hottest week of the year so far.

Meteorologist Doug Outlaw said staff members at the National Weather Service office in Greer, S.C., talked Monday morning about how the day’s forecast could be duplicated and reused every day this week.

“We’ll see basically the same weather for the entire week,” Outlaw said. “It’s a fairly typical summer pattern.”

That means 90-degree-plus weather, high humidity, and an air quality alert for the Charlotte area because of high ozone levels.

High temperatures will be in the low 90s Tuesday, then into the mid-90s for the middle and end of the week. Thunderstorm chances will be minimal and mostly limited to the mountains, Outlaw said.

The afternoon heat index – a measure of the combined effect of temperature and humidity – is forecast to be in the mid-90s early in the week and into the upper 90s later in the week.

Temperatures won’t reach record levels, but the sustained heat will be noticeable across the area.

Air quality will also be an issue. Forecasters say the heat and lack of precipitation and wind will cause ozone levels to climb into an alert category. The Air Quality Alert was in effect until 9 p.m. Monday in Mecklenburg and surrounding counties, and Outlaw said a repeat is likely Tuesday.

“The forecast level is just above the alert stage,” he said. “It’s only for the Charlotte area. The Hickory and Asheville areas are not expected to reach alert level.”

The alert means people with chronic respiratory problems – especially the elderly and young children – are urged to remain indoors during the hottest hours of the day. In addition to the air quality alert, state officials also have issued an outdoor burning ban in the Charlotte region.

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