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Temperatures 'brutally hot' through Friday

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The Wednesday graphic from the National Weather Service said it all: “Brutally Hot through Friday.”

The weather service in Tallahassee issued heat advisories Wednesday for counties in Southwest Georgia and along the coast around Panama City Beach.

For Southeast Alabama, high temperatures are expected be over 100 degrees on Thursday with Dothan forecast to see a high of 103 degrees. The temperatures through Friday could reach near-record triple digit heat with Thursday expected to be the hottest day of the week, according to the National Weather Service. Friday, however, will see the highest heat index values.

Thursday, the weather service may need to issue a mix of heat advisories and excessive heat warnings for the tri-state region, according to its mid-week briefing.

The National Weather Service typically issues a heat advisory for a heat index of 108 degrees or higher, but when air is drier a heat advisory may be issued for air temperatures of 103 degrees or higher. An excessive heat warning is issued for temperatures of 105 degrees or more regardless of heat index.

Meanwhile, Dothan Utilities asked customers to help conserve energy on Wednesday and Thursday between the hours of 1 to 6 p.m. According to the city utility, reducing demand for electricity and water will help reduce the total electric load and keep wholesale energy costs down.

“Customers with rooms or buildings that are not in use, it is requested to turn off lights and HVAC systems that are not needed during these times,” a news release from Dothan Utilities stated. “Shifting activities that require electricity or water outside of these times will also help reduce our overall electric load.”

Low humidity on Wednesday led the National Weather Service to warn of an increased fire danger due to dry conditions – the only exception being along the coast with afternoon seabreezes contributing to higher heat index values.

Despite the lower heat index expected Thursday, temperatures as hot as they are this week will pose the risk of heat-related illness, according to the weather service. People should take precautions – stay indoors if possible or in the shade if outside and keep hydrated.

Thunderstorms are still forecast for this weekend, possibly starting as early as late Friday mainly east of Tallahassee and Albany.

“The first thunderstorms on the back edge of the hot, dry air mass will come with strong and possibly severe wind gusts,” the National Weather Service’s Wednesday briefing stated.

Peggy Ussery is a Dothan Eagle staff writer and can be reached at aussery@dothaneagle.com or 334-712-7963. Support her work and that of other Eagle journalists by purchasing a digital subscription today at dothaneagle.com.

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