Friday’s high of 106 degrees in Augusta broke a 76-year-old record for June 29, and meteorologists say more triple-digit highs can be expected through July 4.
If highs meet meteorologists’ forecasts, there’s the potential to break temperature records today and Sunday as well. And they say no rain is in sight.
Friday’s sweltering heat reminded Richmond County sheriff’s officers how careful they need to be.
“The key is for them to stay hydrated,” Capt. Scott Gay said. “We keep a close eye on the officers.”
Since there is no reprieve for the motorcycle unit, they will jump in reserve cars when the temperatures hit a dangerous level, Gay said. Gay also said crime numbers always rise with the temperatures, mostly domestic calls and fights.
“People get all hot and bothered,” he said, “which leads to fighting.”
Temperatures reached the century mark in a week that saw a record low for the date on Wednesday. The temperature dropped to 56 degrees, five degrees below the 1979 low for June 27.
Meteorologists at the National Weather Service in Columbia said this spring was the fourth-warmest on record in Augusta, and this summer might continue the trend.
Friday’s high broke the record of 105 degrees set on June 29, 1936. The National Weather Service is predicting a high of 105 degrees today. The record of 102 degrees for June 30 was set in 1990.
Heat indexes are expected to climb to more than 110 degrees today and Sunday.
The National Weather Center has issued a hazardous-weather outlook through Sunday because of the high temperatures.
For Linda and Scott Johnson, of Augusta, knowing this was going to be a record-breaking weekend triggered a change in plans.
“Scott and I were going to go hiking this weekend,” Linda Johnson said. “But now I think we are going to the river. Or stay inside, which is more likely.”
Temperatures are expected to slowly drop through next week before settling in the high 90s by the weekend.
Although slightly cooler than this weekend, the Fourth of July is still expected to be a scorcher, with a high near 100 degrees.
Meteorologists are waiting to see what July will bring. July 2011 in Augusta tied the sixth-warmest July on record.
According to the three-month weather outlook, temperatures this summer are expected to stay high. Meteorologists are predicting normal to slightly above-average temperatures and normal to slightly above-average precipitation.
No rain is expected through next week.
According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, the eastern portion of Richmond County is in an extreme drought, and the western portion falls into exceptional drought, the most severe category.