Get out the confetti: Heat break forecast for Myrtle Beach area [The Sun News, Myrtle Beach, S.C.]By Steve Jones, The Sun News, Myrtle Beach, S.C.McClatchy-Tribune Information Services
July 07--MYRTLE BEACH -- Did you think you'd ever see the day when you thought 88 degrees was cool?
Wait until Tuesday.
The brutal heat that has held the Grand Strand in its grip since the first of the month is expected to break then, according to forecasts from the National Weather Service in Wilmington, N.C.
There will be a dip in the temperature on Monday to about 90 degrees as higher humidity brings more clouds that brings, saints be blessed, rain. Then the old mercury will slip even further, and by week's end, it could be in the low 80s.
Time to break out the confetti.
"It'll be noticeable," Weather Service forecaster Dave Loewenthal said of the drop in temperature, "particularly if there are clouds."
Loewenthal said the temperature drop will bring with it an even bigger plunge in the relative heat index. The heat index -- how hot it feels -- will drop from being stuck above 100 degrees to about the actual temperature.
While Loewenthal said he expects the drop in temperature will mean a round of golf is one bottle of Gatorade versus the three he downs in upper 90s heat, Donny Metzger said he's not expecting big change for him or his crew who work outside every day.
"Once it gets to 90," Metzger said, "a few degrees one way or another doesn't make any difference."
Metzger is a crew supervisor for Santee Cooper, and they toiled Friday on putting up a new pole and transformer for a new house on Pawleys Island. It was awful hot, and he figured the temperature was only in the mid to upper 80s.
While he and his crew take more frequent breaks and drink more water in the heat, Metzger said, "We sweat just standing still. We start sweating at 7 a.m. and sweat all day."
At least they're not in one of the parts of the country that not only is suffering record heat, they're also making do without power, as in the kind that makes the air conditioners and refrigerators go. Hundreds of thousands of people from Illinois to New Jersey were still without power a week after a line of deadly storms rolled through.
Around here, it's not the heat, you know, it's the humidity.
Loewenthal gave a homegrown description in reporting recent temperature records. He said that a high temperature was broken at the Weather Service's North Myrtle Beach monitoring station on Tuesday, when the thermometer reached 93 degrees. The previous high, 92 degrees, was sent on July 2, 1953.
But here's the surprise.
Loewenthal said that just four nights earlier, on June 28, a record low was set in North Myrtle Beach. The temperature that night dropped to 60 degrees, breaking by two degrees a record that had stood for 57 years.
The low humidity that evening allowed the heat of the day to rise quickly into the atmosphere which set up the conditions for the coolness.
Loewenthal said the normal high temperature for this time of year is 90 degrees.
Bill Graham, Conway city administrator, said the city makes sure its supervisors of outdoor workers are aware of the danger of high temperatures and prepared to help their employees to deal with it.
"We try to make sure they have plenty of water or Gatorade on their trucks," Graham said.
In addition, the city encourages employees who are working outdoors in the heat to take plenty of breaks and wear hats and sunscreen.
Loewenthal warned that some weather models are showing that the relief-bringing cold front moving in from the northwest could stall out before it passes over the Grand Strand.
The Weather Service still expects it to get close enough, though, to do some good for those tired of dealing with seeing the thermometer uncomfortably close to 100 degrees.
Perhaps it'll be just one handful of confetti relief.
If, on the other hand, the front stalls out over the North Carolina-Virginia border, put the confetti away.
Contact STEVE JONES at 444-1765.
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