Heat wave will continue today

Published 12:00 am Friday, June 29, 2012

By Shavonne Potts
Temperatures reached triple digits, broke records and are likely to continue for the next couple of days, Weather Service officials said Friday.
The closest recording of official temperatures to the Salisbury-Rowan area is Charlotte, which hit a record high of 104 degrees, said Meteorologist John Tomko with the National Weather Service in Greenville, S.C.
Tomko said the old record temperature was 102 and was set all the way back in 1945.
“It also ties with the all-time high temperature of 104 recorded on Aug. 9 and Aug. 10 in 2007 and Sept. 6, 1954,” he said.
This is also an all-time high for June.
In Salisbury just after 2 p.m. Friday, the outdoor thermometer in front of Carolina Farm Credit on Statesville Boulevard read 107 degrees.
Today’s temperature in Salisbury is expected to hit 103 and in Charlotte, 105.
Temperatures are expected to be above normal for July, August and September.
“We do get hot here in June, but we generally don’t get this hot,” Tomko said.
By July 4, the temperature should hover around 97 degrees.
The Weather Service issued a heat advisory Friday, saying a strong area of upper high pressure caused the intense heat over the mid-section will settle over the Southeast today. The heat advisory is in effect from noon to 8 p.m. today.
The heat also sent people reaching for water and shade.
There were at least two heat-related emergency calls Friday.
Emergency Services Director Frank Thomason confirmed a worker at a commercial business on Cauble Road became hot while inside the business around 2 p.m. The second call came in about an hour later for the operator of a fireworks display at Jake Alexander Boulevard who became overheated in the shade.
“Both were treated at the scene and transported to the hospital,” Thomason said.
Even animals were seeking relief in the shade. The Horse Protection Society has 45 horses that volunteers routinely check to make sure they are kept cool throughout the day.
Director Joanie Benson said the organization has been preparing for some time on how to keep the animals cool.
Before the summer, volunteers cleared a path into the woods so the horses could eat in the shade instead of the open pasture.
“Watching them closely in this heat is so important,” Benson said.
In the mornings, the horses receive electrolytes to give them back what they’ve lost through sweat.
Volunteers wet the animals down and use a sweat scraper to remove the sweat, which helps them cool properly and prevents overheating.
Volunteers also regularly refill a tub of water throughout the day with cooler water. There are 10 tubs for the horses to drink from.
“It’s important to keep them hydrated,” Benson said.
The barn where the horses are kept is also very open and breezy, she said.
Contact reporter Shavonne Potts at 704-797-4253.