CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Thursday afternoon will bring the hottest weather thus far this summer, as the mercury in Charlotte inches up to 95 degrees. That temperature is well above the average for late July, which is around 89 degrees, and matches what we hit last Friday, but that's nowhere near the record for the day which was set in 1986 for 101 degrees.
Readings in the mid to upper 90s are certainly common for the Carolinas this time of the year, but when we talk about heat, we also have to include the mention of humidity. The humidity levels for Thursday are pretty high, and when you factor it in the heat index, we will run just shy of 100 degrees for several hours Thursday afternoon.
As for cooling thundershowers, they'll be few and far between Thursday evening, but the couple that do develop may pack quite a punch as they drift south down the Interstate 77 corridor. The storms lately have produced viscous lightning, hail and damaging winds that can certainly be a part of the equation with any thunderstorm this time of the year, so be on the lookout.
Looking ahead, our rain chances will remain low for Friday and Saturday, with the potential for a few pop-up storms each day, but the heat and humidity will remain high. Friday's heat will most likely eclipse Thursday's with a high of 97 degrees expected and a feels-like temperature between 101 to 104 degrees for a few hours during the afternoon.
The record for Friday in Charlotte stands at 103 degrees, which was set in 1986, and there's no way that's going to be seriously challenged.
Better thunderstorm chances should unfold late in the weekend and into early next week as our weather comes under the influence of an approaching front. With better rain chances and increased cloud cover, afternoon readings for next week should gradually inch back down to near normal - close to 90 degrees.
- Meteorologist Al Conklin