Near-record heat Sunday afternoon; heat wave lingers beyond

We're not even halfway through this heat wave

By Chris Michaels - Meteorologist

ROANOKE, Va. - Well they say that Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial start to summer, but it appears summer got a head start. 

Saturday makes day number three in a row with unseasonable heat, officially putting us in the middle of a heat wave.

This heat wave isn't about to come crashing down any time soon, either. Sunday's high temperatures will approach record levels in four main localities.

This is thanks largely in part to a west wind that will keep a lot of us dry during the day. However, we will have to watch areas north of 460 late in the afternoon and into Sunday evening.

With a boundary around to lift that hot and humid air, showers and storms will be possible especially the closer you get to 460.

While lightning and heavy rain are the main threats, one or two storms may become severe. At that point, hail and high wind gusts would need to be monitored. The severe threat does appear to be greater farther north and east of us.

Keep in mind that not everyone is going to get wet Sunday. The main story is the heat, and that will continue to be the case through the middle of next week.

Just check out Tuesday and Wednesday! Holy heat, Batman! If we hit 90° every day Sunday through Thursday, that would give us ten 90° days in the month of May - the most on record in Roanoke.

The jet stream finally drops farther south, bringing an end to the heat wave, by Friday and Saturday. At that point, temperatures will likely be in the 70s and 80s during the afternoon. Showers and storms will become more numerous too.

Take this article and this forecast as a reminder for a few things:

1. Look before you lock! Don't leave any living thing in a hot car.

2. Protect your feet and your pets' paws, as concrete and blacktop absorb heat. They can heat up to 120-140° in direct sunlight.

3. Seek shade, and take frequent breaks. 

4. Drink plenty of water. Your body sweats to cool you down. Replenish with water.

5. Of course, be sure to use plenty of sunscreen and wear your sunglasses.

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