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Heat wave tightens grip on Southeast US as dozens of high temperature records fall

By Kristina Pydynowski, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
May 30, 2019, 3:30:26 AM EDT


Residents will have to continue taking the necessary precautions to avoid heat-related illnesses as record-breaking heat holds firm across the southeastern United States into Thursday.

Dozens of record highs have fallen amid the heat wave since it began late last week.

Saturday's high of 100 F at Savannah, Georgia, tied the record for the earliest occurrence of triple-digit heat in the city. On Sunday, the city set an all-time record high for May as the mercury soared to 102.

Charleston, South Carolina, and Wilmington, North Carolina, reached 100 for the first time ever in May on Sunday.

Tuesday record highs


Wednesday marked the fourth-consecutive day of temperatures near the century mark in Charleston. A high in the mid-80s is more common this time of year.

On Thursday, the intense heat will maintain a firm grip on areas east of the Appalachian Mountains as the heat is trimmed to the west.

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Temperatures are set to soar into the 90s from Virginia to Florida. Highs near or above the century mark will once again bake Columbia, South Carolina; Augusta and Savannah, Georgia; and Jacksonville, Florida.

Along the northern fringe of the heat, severe thunderstorms will once again target parts of the mid-Atlantic and upper Ohio Valley on Thursday.

SE heat May 29


"AccuWeather RealFeel® Temperatures above 100 F will remain common throughout the Southeast due to sunshine and moderate humidity levels on Thursday," according to AccuWeather Meteorologist Max Vido.

"Such values can put residents, especially older adults and children, at risk for heat exhaustion and heatstroke," he said.

Hot cars May 26


Amid the heat, residents are reminded to never leave children or pets in a sealed vehicle without air conditioning. Heat can rise to deadly levels in these vehicles in just a short amount of time.

Nine children have died due to vehicular heatstroke deaths so far this year (through May 24), according to NoHeatStroke.org.

The heat will continue to ease across more of the region Friday into early June.

Heat relief May 28


With the high heat in place, residents will have to use care with campfires, coals from grills and fireworks to avoid igniting new brush fires.

On Tuesday, lightning from an isolated cluster of thunderstorms sparked four wildfires near Jacksonville.


The stagnant weather pattern can trap smoke from any brush fires or pollutants in the urban areas, leading to poor air quality.

Download the free AccuWeather app to see expected high temperatures in your community. Keep checking back for updates on AccuWeather.com and stay tuned to the AccuWeather Network on DirecTV, Frontier and Verizon Fios.

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