North Carolina

Thursday’s 100-degree mark sets 2 new records: It’s the hottest October day at RDU.

How hot is it?

So hot that 2019’s unusual fall heat wave set two more records on Thursday, as the temperature at Raleigh-Durham International Airport reached 100 degrees for the first time this year.

In fact, it was the first 100-degree reading at RDU since July 23, 2017, according to the National Weather Service. It broke the old record high for Oct. 3 by 9 degrees and set a new record for the highest temperature ever recorded in the Triangle in the month of October.

The old daily record was set in 2002; the monthly record had stood since 1954, when it got up to 98 on Oct. 6.

The region has experienced record heat on five days in the last week, according to the weather service, including 96 degrees on Wednesday. Forecasters say it will be a bit cooler on Friday, with temperatures reaching only into the low 90s.

Fall weather will arrive on Saturday, as winds shift out of the north and temperatures drop into the upper 50s overnight Friday. Saturday’s high temperatures are expected to be a full 25 degrees cooler than Thursday’s record.

The change in temperatures won’t bring any rain, as much as gardens and lawns need it. The only rain in the forecast might come overnight Monday, when the weather service puts the likelihood of showers at 40%.

Sunny skies will return after that. But temperatures next week are expected to remain in the low to mid-70s during the day and drop down into the low 50s at night — slightly below normal for this time of year.

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Richard Stradling covers transportation for The News & Observer. Planes, trains and automobiles, plus ferries, bicycles, scooters and just plain walking. Also, #census2020. He’s been a reporter or editor for 32 years, including the last 20 at The N&O. 919-829-4739, rstradling@newsobserver.com.
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