Summer doesn’t officially roll in until Sunday, but its high temperatures are here now and are likely to linger into next week. Earlier than usual, you say? Not so much, according to meteorologists.
The string of 90-plus degree days (with triple-digit heat indexes) this week is normal for the area, according to Michael Caropolo with the National Weather Service in Wilmington.
“In the summertime in the Southeast, it does get this hot regularly,” Caropolo said. “It’s not unusual to have several 90 to 100 degree days in a row.”
Climate records from the National Weather Service show that the area hit a record high of 98 on June 15, 2010. Monday’s high was 95.
South Carolina had a stretch of 90 degree days in June 2012, but has been much cooler over the last two years, Caropolo said. This week’s high temperatures are common in the south, however.
“A lot of people – especially tourists – aren’t accustomed to this heat, so they might think it’s much hotter than usual during this time of year,” Caropolo said.
Area organizations are feeling the heat as well. The Horry County Salvation Army, which has handed out fans to people in need in the past, is struggling to keep their stores filled with cooling devices.
“Everybody is just buying them up or not donating them,” said Laurie Suprano, Family Stores operations director.
Suprano said anyone willing to donate fans or air conditioning units should drop them off at a Family Store in North Myrtle Beach, Loris, Conway and Surfside Beach. Locations and operating hours can be found at https://www.salvationarmycarolinas.org.
“This heat has just jumped on us this year, and what ever we receive we will offer in our stores,” Suprano said.
Horry County police are handing out fans to the elderly or disabled, but the program is slow moving at the moment due to staffing, said Lt. Raul Denis. Police are handing out fans donated to the county last year, he said.
Denis wasn’t sure whether police would ramp up the program soon.
Temperatures over the next few days will stay in the upper 90s, Caropolo said, with little breeze until the late evening. Coastal regions should stay in the mid- to upper-90s but inland towns –such as Conway or Aynor – could see temperatures above 100 degrees.
“But we should have a little respite Wednesday with temperatures in the low- to mid-90s,” Caropolo said.
Caropolo advises people to wear light clothing, wear sunscreen and avoid staying outside for long periods. Drink plenty of water and never leave children or pets in a car.
“If you can, keep pets inside and give them fresh water,” Caropolo said. “They feel the effects of heat more than humans do.”
Contact CLAIRE BYUN at 626-0381 and follow her on Twitter @Claire_TSN.