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Fayetteville expected to be hottest place in the state today

The area could tie or eclipse a 1938 record of 99 degrees on May 20, the National Weather Service says.


Fayetteville is going to be hot today. Really hot.

The National Weather Service has forecast a heat index of more than 100 degrees. In response to that, Cumberland County is opening select buildings as cooling stations for residents who do not have access to air conditioning.

The National Weather Service has issued a heat advisory for Cumberland and surrounding counties. Temperatures are expected to reach well into the 90s with a possibility of temperatures climbing into the upper 90s to near 100 degrees.

With an official forecast of 99 degrees, Fayetteville is predicted to be the hottest spot in the state today.

“For Fayetteville, the official record for maximum temperature (on May 20) was 99 set in 1938,” said Nick Luchetti, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Raleigh. “We’re forecasting to tie the record. There is a chance that it could go over a degree or two.”

A Bermuda high offshore is impacting the area, he said, creating a really warm southerly flow.

“We’ve had that for several days now,” Luchetti said. “Yes, just really hot, humid weather.”

Saturday will continue to be hot, but not as hot, Luchetti said. Highs are forecast for the lower 90s across the area due to what he attributed to some cloud cover.

“There’s a cold front that’s approaching that is going to push through the area on Monday,” he said, “and I think tomorrow we’ll see more cloud cover that will kind of temper those highs a little bit. There’s still a really warm air mass in place ahead of that cold front. So we’ll still see highs above average for this time of year tomorrow, as well.”

The Department of Social Services, at 1225 Ramsey St., has opened the auxiliary lobby as a cooling station for those looking for some respite from the heat, the county said in a release. Hours are 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., the county said.

The lobby is on the first-floor waiting area by the reception desk. Masks or face coverings are optional, but masks and social distancing are encouraged.

Cooling stations also will be located today at the Cumberland County Department of Public Health and all of the branches of the Cumberland County Public Library.

The first-floor lobby of the Health Department, at 1235 Ramsey St., is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., the county said. Anyone entering the Health Department is required to wear a mask and complete a temperature scan. Masks will be provided to anyone who does not have one.

The county said all eight libraries are open as cooling stations, too. The Headquarters Library, at 300 Maiden Lane, is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

To find your local library, go to cumberlandcountync.gov/departments/library-group/library.

Cumberland County Emergency Services reminds residents to take precautions during the hot weather. Drink plenty of fluids, stay in an air-conditioned room, stay out of the sun, avoid strenuous work, check on relatives and neighbors, and never leave children or pets unattended in vehicles.

“All indications that we have, all the guidance – short-term and then actually the last couple of days – have pointed today being the hottest over the next several days,” Luchetti said. “Right now we’re forecasting low to mid-90s across our far northern tier – from the Triad area further into the northeast into the Virginia border. And then from Raleigh southward we’ve got mid- to upper-90s. And from Fayetteville, our official forecast is a high of 99 today.”

He said following the cooler weather, temperatures should rebound into the mid-80s in the Fayetteville area by mid to late next week.

Michael Futch covers Fayetteville and education for CityView TODAY. He can be reached at mfutch@cityviewnc.com. Have a news tip? Email news@CityViewTODAY.com.


Fayetteville, Cumberland County, hot weather, cooling stations