Temperatures soared above the 100-degree mark for a third straight day in Northeast Georgia, with the thermometer reaching 104 degrees in Gainesville on Sunday.
That temperature was recorded a bit before 4 p.m. at the National Weather Service’s automated recording station at Lee Gilmer Memorial Airport in Gainesville. It dropped to 103 in the hour to follow.
The temperature hit 104 on Saturday as well after a high temperature of 102 on Friday.
The last time Gainesville reached 104 degrees was 1952.
The sweltering heat wave could begin to loosen its grip today, but only by a few degrees.
The National Weather Service in Peachtree City is predicting a high of 99 today.
Temperatures will continue to drop slowly through the week, falling to 91 by Saturday. The high on July Fourth is expected to be 93.
Also, a chance for thunderstorms — some possibly severe — stays in the outlook through Saturday.
Ultrahot temperatures began to really take hold through the Southeast on Friday, with highs topping the century mark throughout the weekend.
A heat advisory remains in effect for most of North and Middle Georgia through 9 tonight, according to the weather service.
Residents are advised to take precautions with pets, limit time in the sun and check on elderly neighbors and family members.
Heat index values, or the temperatures the body feels when humidity is thrown into the mix, could reach 110.
“Consecutive days of excessive heat can have a cumulative effect on the human body,” the weather service warns.
“Heat of this magnitude and duration can trigger heat-related illnesses such as heat exhaustion or even heat stroke.”
Health and weather officials say the best preventive medicine is to stay in an air-conditioned room. Outdoor activity should be severely limited and, if it must happen, people should take breaks and drink plenty of fluids, preferably water.
The weather service also has issued a special “hazardous weather” statement and “air quality alert.”
The heat wave can be traced to last week’s movement of Tropical Storm Debby across northern Florida.
“A frontal boundary moved in and brought a warmer, drier air mass, and we have a high-pressure system that is starting to build in over a large portion of the eastern United States,” meteorologist Robert Garcia said last week.