The heat in Raleigh has finally arrived as promised – sticky, searing oppression setting in as the week summer officially hits the calendar.
As the mercury is expected to skyrocket to 98 degrees on Tuesday, the Triangle will be warmer than cities in Nigeria, Indonesia and Iran. And that’s without the heat index, which could bring Raleigh up to 107 degrees, matching Dubai conditions.
And while the uncomfortable heat and humidity in the south is no more surprising than ice fishing in Minnesota, there are a few things to keep in mind.
In the five stages of weather mourning, consider Monday the denial phase. By Friday, you will be fully accepted.
Step 1: it won’t last.
If you’ve ever lived in Texas, you know the meaning of relentless. Summer opens the door on June 1 and starts a 100 degree fire that burns nonstop until September. Even when Halloween arrives, you won’t catch a lot of kids in Wookiee costumes, as it’s usually still in the ’90s at the end of October.
We are not like that.
Misery rarely lasts more than a week at a time. Thunderstorms almost always come to our aid.
As scorching as this week can get, ABC11 meteorologist Don “Big Weather” Schwenneker expects showers Thursday night and cool down to the 80s by Saturday.
“We always get these bursts,” he said.
Step 2: It could be worse.
The true measurement of a heat wave is 100 degrees. Somehow, the temperature becomes more threatening when it hits triple digits, and Schwenneker says that’s not happening – at least not this week. Its forecast peaks at 98 degrees, although the National Weather Service is predicting a slightly more serious triple-digit flirtation at 99.
If you’ve recently moved here, remember you could still be in Phoenix, where residents will endure 110 degrees on Thursday.
“I don’t think we’re going to beat 100,” Schwenneker said. “But we’re talking about a degree.”
Stage 3: It got worse.
In 1944, as the Allies invaded France during World War II, Raleigh’s heat reached 102 degrees, its historic high.
More recently, in 1991, the heat index hit 112 degrees, prompting a local car dealership to complain: “It looks like a hot, humid blanket,” according to The News & Observer.
Six years later, in 1997, a Durham man named Keith Faucette beat the triple-digit heat index through meditation.
“I transcend the earth plane,” he told The News & Observer. “I let my mind go elsewhere.”
Step 4: You can help.
Often times a terrible experience can be alleviated by lessening someone else’s agony.
The Cool for Wake program provides fans and a few window air conditioners to homes with the elderly and children under 12.
“We expect to be busy over the next few days,” said Denise Kissel, the Wake County employee who manages the program. “We generally see fan demands increasing with the temperatures.”
In one year, the program distributes between 350 and 400 fans, so lightly used models are gratefully accepted, as are cash donations.
To find out how to qualify for Cool for Wake or to donate, contact Denise Kissel at 919-212-7083 or [email protected]
Step 5: You will get used to it.
Any part of the country has a downside, no matter how much of a paradise it is. Earthquakes in LA Gas prices in Hawaii.
Raleigh Heat is considered an easy cross to bear by comparison. The mountains and the beaches invite, and the city in summer empties itself like Paris on vacation.
There is always sweet tea.
Josh Shaffer: 919-829-4818, @ joshshaffer08
This story was originally published June 18, 2018 3:02 pm.