Lowcountry shows its steamy side again

“I checked my car; it said 101. I’m trying to hide from the sun,” said David Carter of D.C. Painting, as he worked Monday on the renovation of the Olde Village Market and Deli on East Montague Avenue in North Charleston.

High humidity arrived a bit later than usual, but it turned up over the weekend arm in arm with the heat. And they’re not about to leave.

Monday’s high of 98 at the National Weather Service, Charleston office in North Charleston tied an official daily record, and forecasters issued heat advisories for the Lowcountry.

National Weather Service forecasters in Charleston are predicting heat indexes into the 100s with mid- to upper-90s temperatures until the weekend, at least. Nighttime temperatures will be a warm mid- to upper 70s.

There’s not even an isolated thunderstorm in sight for relief, at least until later in the week.

“The next couple of days look really hot,” said Weather Service meteorologist John Quagliariello.

A few hints from the Weather Service and myriad other sources: Keep cool is the golden rule. Slow down. Seek shade.

Wear loose and light clothing, broad brimmed hats, and a neck-cooling wrap or similar device. Drink water or hydrating fluids. Do not stay or leave children or pets in parked cars.

June 15: 98 degrees. Tied record set in 1981.

June 16: 100 degrees, 1981.

June 17: 101, 1981.

The temperature on Monday reached 92 degrees by 11 a.m.

Carriage horse tours were stopped for a while in early afternoon for the animals’ safety. The rides must be halted when the street temperature reaches 98 degrees.

One of the unfortunate consequences of an extended heat spell is that more people can become chronically dehydrated, and are likely to show up in the emergency room with heat exhaustion, said Daniel Park, Medical University of South Carolina pediatric emergency room physician.

“There’s an uptick, particularly children, the elderly, visitors or vacationers in the Lowcountry,” he said.

What’s making it so hot? A high-pressure system — or relatively calm, unclouded weather — is sitting over the region in what climatologists call the summer pattern. It works like a pressure cooker to steam up the works. When the summer pattern sets in, the heat index really starts to soar, Quagliariello said.

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