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With Mid-80 Temps and Little-to-No Rain, the High Country’s Felt a Little Warm

By Jesse Wood

Well, it’s certainly not the record heat facing the Middle East, which is experiencing temperatures that look more like a high-scoring basketball game recently, but we’ve been sweating here in the High Country for a minute.

Boone has had high temps in the mid-80s for the past four days and RayWeather.com expects that to continue until at least through Wednesday. In all, high temps will be 80 and above for the remainder of the week and into the weekend.

It’s been dry, too. Less than an inch of rain has fallen in July. Fortunately, most of the High Country received a brief reprieve from the dry spell on Monday. Prior to yesterday’s showers, Boone went longer than a week without rain. The rest of the week looks similar to yesterday with the summer rains cooling things off a bit.

“Monday is showing the way to our future… an extended period of daily, mostly afternoon showers and storms with some heavier rain at times. We’ll have plenty of dry hours each day, but we’ll also contend ‘splash and dash’ events. You can do the outdoor stuff, but be prepared,” according to RaysWeather.com forecast discussion.

Courtesy: https://www.tva.com/Environment/Lake-Levels/Watauga/Watauga-Operating-Guide
Watauga Lake levels … Courtesy: https://www.tva.com/Environment/Lake-Levels/Watauga/Watauga-Operating-Guide

Tennessee Valley Authority Public Relations Manager Jim Hopson said that while the average rainfall for the Watauga Lake area has been about 88 percent of normal, the runoff into the streams and eventually lakes has been even lower.

“Even with the rainfall we’ve received over the past 30 days, only about 65 percent of the expected runoff has made it to the lake,” Hopson said, adding that the overall lake level has been dropping since the first of June. See the attached graph, comparing elevations last year and so far this year.

With regards to the heat, the High Country is kind of spoiled of course with regards to the heat. Take Beech Mountain, for example. RaysWeather.com’s archives note that Beech Mountain just barely inched above 80 degrees on July 23 and 24 with the gauge hitting 80 and 80.5 degrees, respectively, and bottomed out in the mid-50s several times this month.

On Saturday and Sunday afternoon, Beech Mountain Golf Club gave away free golf because of the hot weather through its “Summer of 79” program, where by if the National Weather Service records temperatures above 80 degrees atop Beech Mountain then guests get free golf, according to Bryan Barnes, general manager of Beech Mountain Golf Club.

Take a look at some of other high temps from around the state this past week:

  • Charlotte: 98 degrees
  • Raleigh: 96 degrees
  • Asheville: 91
  • Wilmington: 96 degrees
  • Greensboro: 97 degrees
  • Durham: 96 degrees
  • Mitribah, Kuwait: 129 degrees