Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Will tonight finally end Wilmington’s hot streak?

Atlantic sunrise at Carolina Beach
Will the expected cooler temperatures end Wilmington’s nighttime hot streak? (FILE PHOTO)

WILMINGTON – Wilmington has been on a record-breaking hot streak of late, but that could end overnight.

According to the National Weather Service office in Wilmington, nighttime low temperatures have not dipped below 70 degrees since June 27, a total of 58 consecutive days.

“It’s been a pretty amazing streak, but we don’t expect that to continue tonight,” NWS Wilmington Lead Forecaster Richard Kreitner said Tuesday afternoon. “It should go well below tonight, as we’re expecting a low of about 67 degrees.”

The previous record of 56 days was set almost exactly four years ago, from June 29 to Aug. 23, 2012. Kreitner said high humidity has kept temperatures above normal.

“We’ve had a low-level jet system that has kept moisture levels elevated more than we expect this time of the year,” Kreitner said. “That’s kept the temperatures up at night.”

During this period, the Wilmington area has seen extremely high heat indices, leading to the NWS issuing an excessive heat advisory in late July. However, the actual temperature has not gone above 100 degrees.

“The last time we broke 100 (degrees) was in 2012,” Kreitner said, saying it came during the previous record hot streak. “It is very uncommon in this area (to go above 100 degrees), even though it feels like that a lot of the time, because we’re so close to the ocean. The sea breeze kicks in and pushes those temperatures back.”

Still, this summer’s extreme heat has caused some grumbling among locals. Though Kreitner said the heat index is expected to be back up again this coming weekend, the brief dip into the 60s will come as a respite for some.

“It’s been quite a run, and I know people are happy to see it end,” Kreitner said.

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