WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - A fairly normal summer pattern in place over southeast North Carolina today will give way to a very strong upper high pressure ridge by the end of the week. This upper ridge will bring extreme heat along with very high heat index values by Thursday into the weekend.
Today through Wednesday a fairly typical summer pattern will be in place. Afternoon highs will range from the low 90's in Wilmington to mid 90's Tuesday and Wednesday around I-95 under partly cloudy skies. Heat index values could top 100 with high humidity. Upper disturbances moving into the area will spark off mainly afternoon and evening thunderstorms. Thunderstorm chances will get progressively lower each day through Wednesday.
The upper ridge begins to build in Thursday. As this happens look for sunny or mostly sunny days with highs in the mid to upper 90's. Afternoon heat index values will approach or even exceed 105, so heat advisories maybe necessary. Actual highs could be near 100 inland by the weekend as the ridge gets even stronger. Overnight lows may barely dip below 80 in spots. Take it easy outside, drink lots of water, and check on the elderly and pets. Very warm temperatures in the upper levels of the atmosphere will "cap" the atmosphere and this will prevent afternoon thunderstorms from developing.