COLUMBIA, S.C. — Thursday and Friday will likely be the hottest afternoon in several years across the Midlands with high temperatures expected to soar into the upper 90s and possibly the triple digits.
Humidity will also be in place making it feel much hotter. Dangerous heat index values are in the forecast each afternoon. Outdoor activities can quickly lead to heat exhaustion and potentially heat stroke.
Heat Advisories have been issued across the Southeast, but currently do not include the South Carolina Midlands because our advisory criteria is higher than other cities. The National Weather Service issues a Heat Advisory in the midlands when heat indices are expected to reach 110F or greater. On Thursday morning, the agency cautioned the heat will be dangerous despite being under this criteria.
The heat index is calculated based on the temperature and level of humidity. Excess humidity makes it more difficult for our bodies to cool down so the heat index provides insight on how dangerous temperatures will be. This value only accounts for how the air will feel in the shade. It will feel even hotter in full sunshine. When heat index values reach 105F, heat exhaustion is likely and heat stroke is possible. Heat stroke is a medical emergency and can be fatal.
On Thursday and Friday afternoon, heat index values in the Midlands are expected to reach 90F as early as 10 am and remain in the triple digits from noon to 6 pm. The maximum heat index will be in the 105 – 110F range, which could be the hottest heat index since 2015.
Rain is not likely on Thursday, although a passing shower cannot be ruled out in the afternoon. A passing storm is possible on Friday or Saturday afternoon, which will cool isolated parts of the Midlands down. Rain will be more likely Sunday afternoon. The heat will break on Monday and a rainy pattern will persist through early next week.