Excessive heat warning issued for Cape Fear region

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A map of the area placed under an excessive heat warning by the NWS Wilmington on July 28, 2016.
A map of the area placed under an excessive heat warning by the NWS Wilmington on July 28, 2016.

WILMINGTON – The National Weather Service in Wilmington has issued an excessive heat warning for southeastern North Carolina, including all of New Hanover and Pender counties and all but the coastal part of Brunswick County.

According to meteorologist Mark Bacon, the warning is in effect until 8 p.m. tonight.

“We’re expecting apparent air temperatures to be anywhere from 110 to 112 degrees across the warning area,” said Bacon, adding that winds from the west and southwest are negating any cooling effect from the coast. “The effect of the ocean is being minimized.”

The area has been under a heat advisory since earlier in the week due to a combination of high air temperature and high humidity, which determines the heat index, or how hot the air feels to your body. Heat advisories are issued when heat indices are 105 to 109 degrees. Excessive heat warnings are issued when the index hits 110 degrees.

Bacon’s tips for staying cool and reducing the risk for heat-related illnesses include drinking lots of water.

“Minimize strenuous outdoor activity. Stay hydrated with non-alcoholic, non-caffeinated beverages,” Bacon said, noting water is best. “Check your pets, and bring them indoors if they’re outside. Make sure not to leave your children or pets in parked cars. Know the signs of heat stroke, such as dizziness and fatigue, and know when your body is telling you it’s time to go inside.”

Although the excessive heat warning will end at 8 p.m. Thursday, Bacon said a heat advisory is expected to be in effect until at least Saturday. Starting Friday night, the chances for relief in the form of thunderstorms will increase about 10 percent each day until the early part of next week, when the high pressure system causing this heat is expected to be pushed out of the coastal Carolinas.

“Heat waves like this always tend to last longer than you think,” Bacon said. “But people will be glad to know that next week will be a little cooler.”