Temperatures for the Laurinburg area have remained around 99 degrees, according to the National Weather Service office in Wilmington.
That is about 11 degrees warmer than normal for southeastern North Carolina for this period, the Weather Service said.
The temperatures and humidity have warranted heat advisories for parts of the region over the past days. Heat advisories are issued when the heat index, or the "feels like" temperature, reaches at least 105 degrees. On Monday, the Wilmington National Weather Service Office issued a heat advisory for the region.
Steve Cole, the president of Simmons Heating and Air Conditioning in Laurinburg, said that every time the weather get up to 92 or 93 degrees for two or three days, the call volume at his business usually doubles. Cole said call requests began to increase over the weekend and has stayed high all week. Cole said office hours have been extended for the length of the heat wave.
So far, Scotland Memorial Hospital reports that it has had no reports of heat-related injuries yet.
Nor have the recent high temperatures put a damper on county sporting events, according to Al Blades, Scotland County athletic director.
But he added that "we are keeping an eye on the heat." Blades said that children who are participating in county athletics are being advised to drink plenty of fluids.
The county has placed all of its athletic events after 6 p.m. to combat the heat. However, this has left many games open to cancellation due to the afternoon storms the region has recently been experiencing.
There are a few things that you can do to prevent from yourself from becoming a victim of a heat-related injury.
Meteorologist Rick Kreitner said that the normal hot weather techniques would help people endure this heat. They include avoiding heavy physical exertion during the hottest part of the day; keeping well hydrated; keeping out of the sun as much as possible; taking frequent breaks inside, preferably in air conditioning; and, not leaving pets and children in locked vehicles.
Cole also gave some tips about things that you can do to help you stay cool during this type of heat. Some of these tips are; if you know that the next day is expected to be hot, turn the temperature down on your thermostat the night before; use ceiling fans; keep your air conditioning unit properly and professionally maintained; change your air filter regularly, preferably every 30 days; keep grass ad scrubs away from your outdoor unit, so the unit can stay properly ventilated; and, make sure to control any fire ants in your yard. Cole said that fire ants have a tendency to seek out electricity, drawing them to your unit. Once inside your unit, fire ants can wreck your unit, necessitating a call for service for your unit.
The region is experiencing the effects of a upper level high pressure ridge. This ridge is what is ushering in the hot temperatures that the region has experienced for the past few days. Along with this hot air, the upper level high pressure has delivered a steady southerly flow which brought tropical moisture into the area from the Southern Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. This has created moist, sticky conditions throughout the Carolinas. The presence of this ridge has also created a "static weather pattern" of high temperatures and high humidity, Kreitner said.
The Laurinburg region has also experienced afternoon thunderstorms every day since Sunday. These storms have been driven by the high temperatures and high humidity across the region. The storms that have formed have tended to be slow moving, strong to severe, with gusty winds and frequent lightning, and have brought heavy downpours to the region.
The strength of the storms and the heavy downpours of the storms are a result of the high temperatures and high humidity, which have been provided vibrant breeding ground for these storms, according to the Weather Service. Additionally, the slow movement of the storms is a result of weak mid-level steering winds. These winds have been too weak to push any storms along quickly.
According to Kreitner, the pattern is expected to break soon.
A weak cold front is forecasted to come through the area Thursday, bringing in slightly cooler and dryer air. The forecast for today is for cloudy conditions and slightly cooler conditions, with a forecasted high of 92. The forecast for Friday is for mostly sunny conditions, though less humid, with a forecasted high of 94 degrees. These "cooler" conditions should continue into the middle of next week, Kreitner said.
Until then, the Weather Service has forecasted a 30 percent chance of thunderstorms today. The forecast for Friday is for the day to start off with fog before becoming mostly sunny and drier.