CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - This afternoon will bring the hottest weather thus far this summer, as the mercury in Charlotte inches up to 97 degrees. That reading is well above the average for late July (89 degrees) and eclipses the previous "hottest day of the Summer" which occurred just yesterday when Charlotte reached 96 degrees.
Still, today's high temperature is nowhere near the record for the day (103 degrees set in 1986).
Readings in the mid to upper 90s are certainly common for the Carolinas this time of the year, but when we talk about heat here, we also have to include the mention of humidity. It's pretty high right now, and when you factor it in, the heat index will run over 100 degrees for several hours this afternoon.
As for cooling thundershowers, there will be a few around this evening. Futurecast suggests a band of heavy thunderstorms will roll into the mountains from Virginia late this afternoon, and if they hold together as they drift south toward the Piedmont, some neighborhoods could get a strong storm as we approach sunset.
The storms of late have produced vicious lightning and hail and damaging winds 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 fairly low on Saturday - just a 30% chance for a pop-up storm during the afternoon and evening hours - but the heat and humidity will remain high. Saturday's heat will be very near today's with a high of 96 degrees expected and a feels-like temperature of 102 to 105 degrees for a few hours during the afternoon.
Better thunderstorm chances should unfold late in the weekend and early next week as our weather comes under the influence of an approaching front and with better rain chances and increased cloud cover, afternoon readings should gradually inch back down to near normal - close to 90 degrees.
- Meteorologist Al Conklin