NC Weather: Isolated storms possible, heat and humidity persist

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Friday, August 5, 2022
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There is an isolated chance for a few isolated showers/drizzle early today. Expect another shot at spotty shower/storms pretty late in the day.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Expect another shot at spotty showers and storms pretty late Friday. Storms that develop this afternoon over Virginia may be able to survive all the way into our area by day's end. It's likely though that these won't be severe or bring any major risk aside from a brief downpour.

With the late timing, we still have most of the day to heat up again, and should get back above 90. Feels-like temps will be near or just over 100 degrees.

Over the weekend heat and humidity will persist, with each day featuring some sunshine. Highs will top out in the low 90s each day. An afternoon thunderstorm could pop up with the heat and humidity.

The highest chance for these storms will be north and west of the Triangle, though it's possible that the sea breeze storms that develop near the coast could push back toward southeastern parts of the area as well. Nights will remain uncomfortably warm.

NOAA updates 2022 Atlantic hurricane outlook heading into peak season

Scientists with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released an updated hurricane outlook for the Atlantic region.

New hurricane predictions from NOAA still expect above average activity despite only three storms being named so far this season.

NOAA is still predicting 14 to 20 named storms, with 6 to 10 of those becoming hurricanes and 3 to 5 of them becoming major.

Coaches show how they protect student athletes while practicing in summer heat

School officials are taking special cautions to protect student-athletes in sweltering temperatures.

Pine Forest High School head football coach Bill Sochovka told ABC11 that their protective measures are a mix of tactics. One is to keep a close eye on the temperature outside, and the other is to teach young people about self-preservation.

NC summer feels 'even warmer' in Raleigh urban heat islands

For Raleigh resident Roger Wilkerson, a transformer in the Method community outside had another purpose on Thursday.

"Because it's cooler and I'm in the shade," Wilkerson said, sitting on the transformer with his cane propped beside him.

Wilkerson, who was taking a walk for his health, took a break on the hot summer day.

"I normally walk around the block because I just had a stroke last year," Wilkerson said. "I'd normally be inside. If they had more shade, or trees out here, would make it cooler."

Fayetteville FD breaks down its safety precautions for firefighters in sweltering summer heat

Fayetteville's Fire Department is taking special precautions to protect firefighters from the sweltering temperatures during the ongoing heat waves this summer. The department's Captain Stephen Shakeshaft explains that having an abundance of equipment and manpower is key to keeping crews safe while battling fires.

"Anytime we're experiencing an extreme heat wave we make sure to send extra resources to calls that may require extra breaks. So whether it's a structure fire or an outside woods fire, we have a set amount of resources we send to those calls," said Shakeshaft. "That way, folks get the extra break that they need to stay hydrated and stay cool."

WATCH: Extreme heat dangers and safety tips

Hotter than usual

Summer in North Carolina is always hot, but this year has been particularly brutal.

Raleigh has already seen more 90 degree days in 2022 than the city averages for all of summer. As for 95-degree days, Raleigh has already nearly doubled its annual average.

So far, we're looking at the third-hottest year on record in North Carolina. If this year remains in the top 10 hottest historically, it will mean that the state's 10 hottest years will all have happened in the 21st century.

"This is climate change," State Climatologist Dr. Kathie Dello said.

Heat damaging infrastructure

The excessive and persistent heat can affect existing infrastructure, including roadways.

"Asphalt does get softer as the temperature gets warmer, and that can make asphalt pavements a little more prone to rutting and shoving during warm temperatures like we've been having. It's also sometimes in concrete pavements due to expansion of the concrete, you can get those pavements buckling up a little bit. That's a rare occurrence in North Carolina. It has happened in the past, but we haven't had an occurrence of that in the last several years that I'm aware of," said Clark Morrison, who is the State Pavement Design Engineer for NCDOT.

Morrison said crews using the right asphalt mix can stave off some issues.

"We have a seal-coating process that covers the asphalt and it stops the oxidation process, or slows it down. It seals the crack and it creates a surface between the asphalt and the vehicles that are going over it," noted Mike Stephenson, President of Paving Professionals Inc. in Raleigh, which specializes in commercial properties.

Stephenson said they've seen an uptick in calls this summer, and anticipates that to continue as temperatures remain elevated.

"With the heat, we've had a lot of damage due to heavy vehicles turning, rutting in the asphalt. It's just been very hot. And with the nature of asphalt, there has been more damage," said Stephenson.

The excessive heat can cause asphalt to soften, and eventually, leave it susceptible to cracks or potholes.

OSHA works to create new heat-related work standards

Data shows more than one-third of occupational heat-related deaths in the U.S. were construction workers, from 1992 to 2016.

"Cement masons were 10 times more likely to die from heat than the average construction worker," the study found. "Roofers and helpers were seven times more likely."

OSHA currently doesn't have a specific standard for hazardous heat conditions, but as the agency works to develop it, the N.C. department of labor said it is focusing a significant amount of time on outreach, education and training.

"Here at NCDOL, we are in the process of gathering information which will help our staff determine what solutions make sense for North Carolina," NCDOL said.

OSHA included rulemaking on Heat Illness Prevention in Outdoor and Indoor Work Settings in the pre-rule stage and said they're reviewing the Public Citizen report.

"We have received thousands of comments from stakeholders and employers that will help guide our work in developing an all-encompassing final rule based on the most recently available science and data," OSHA's Doug Parker said. "Rulemaking takes time, and it's critical that we get it right."

European heatwave

North Carolina is not the only place seeing hotter than usual temperatures.

In fact, European countries have been dealing with some of the hottest temperatures ever recorded in their areas.

The United Kingdom shattered its heat record multiple times in mid-July. The previous record high temperature in the UK was 101.7 degrees, but the country reached 104.4 degrees on July 19.

The sweltering weather disrupted travel, health care and schools in a country not prepared for such extremes. A huge chunk of England, from London in the south to Manchester and Leeds in the north, saw the country's first "red" warning for extreme heat -- meaning there is danger of death even for healthy people.

At least six people were reported to have drowned across the U.K. in rivers, lakes and reservoirs while trying to cool off. Nearly 750 heat-related deaths have been reported in Spain and neighboring Portugal in the heat wave there.

"This record temperature is a harbinger of things to come,'' said Bob Ward of the Grantham Research Institute at the London School of Economics. "The increase in the frequency and intensity of heat waves and other extreme weather events is the result of climate change, and these impacts will continue to grow" unless the world drastically reduces emissions.