102 degrees breaks a record

Published 10:16 pm Wednesday, July 7, 2010

There’s no doubt about it — Wednesday was a scorcher.

The temperature reached 102 degrees at the Suffolk Executive Airport, and hovered over 100 degrees for several hours, airport director Kent Marshall said.

“We broke 100 about a quarter to 12 [noon],” Marshall said at 2:35 p.m. As he spoke, the temperature was 102 degrees, and the dew point was 68.

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The three-digit high mark officially blasted the unofficial record of 99 degrees, set in 2004, according to The Weather Channel’s website. Because Suffolk does not have an official National Weather Service recording station, its temperatures do not stand as regional records.

Those looking for relief from the heat could get it in the coming days.

James Foster, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Wakefield, said the heat will ease Thursday and Friday, with scattered showers and thunderstorms expected Saturday.

“It looks like there will be somewhat of a relief on the high temperatures over the next couple of days,” Foster said. “Thursday will be in the lower 90s with a few more clouds. I think that will keep the temperature down a bit.”

Friday will bring more of the same, Foster said, with a frontal approach Saturday bringing a chance for some rain.

“We’ll have a little bit of relief,” he said.

The heat and dry conditions combined to create a handful of brush fires throughout the city this week. Gov. Bob McDonnell warned Virginians on Wednesday that conditions are ripe for wildfires.

“The extremely hot temperatures, combined with no real rain for several weeks, have turned a lot of things brown, and that means the threat of fire has increased,” McDonnell said in a press release.

McDonnell warned anyone using machinery that can cause a spark to be mindful of the weather conditions. In addition, parking a vehicle that has been running for a while on a patch of dry grass could start a fire. People also should be aware of the fire danger involved with cooking at a campsite, burning trash or tossing a cigarette butt.