Dangerous heat cancels summer concert, farmers market

Published 1:06 pm Thursday, July 27, 2023

A combination of high air temperatures and humidity is expected to bring dangerously hot weather to Isle of Wight and Surry counties through Saturday, and is already forcing the cancellation of planned events.

Organizers of the Downtown Smithfield Summer Concert Series announced that the 7 p.m. Friday performance by gospel choir Higher Ground on the Main Street Square Stage by The Smithfield Times has been canceled due to an extreme heat watch.

Organizers of the Smithfield Farmers Market scheduled for 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on July 29 in the parking lot behind the Bank of Southside Virginia also announced that high heat had canceled the event.

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The National Weather Service is forecasting heat index values of up to 106 degrees today and up to 112 degrees on Friday, July 28.

A heat advisory will be in effect through 10 a.m. Friday and an excessive heat watch will be in effect from Friday morning through Saturday evening.

Air temperatures in Smithfield are forecast to reach 95 degrees today, 97 on Friday and 96 on Saturday.

According to NWS Meteorologist Cody Poche, a high-pressure weather system off the North Carolina and mid-Atlantic coast is feeding moisture into already high air temperatures, creating even higher “feels like” values as measured by the heat index.

Overnight heat index values in urban areas throughout Hampton Roads are not expected to drop below the lower to mid-80s.

Extreme heat and humidity significantly increases the potential for heat-related illnesses, particularly for those working or participating in outdoor activities, the NWS warns, and is advising area residents to stay out of the sun in an air-conditioned room.

“Young children and pets should never be left unattended in vehicles under any circumstances,” the NWS weather alert warns. “This is especially true during warm or hot weather when car interiors can reach lethal temperatures in a matter of minutes.”

Tourists and area residents looking for alternative activities in town can view the Isle of Wight Arts League’s members show and sale at the Arts Center at 319 Main Street, which is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 4 p.m. Sunday, or tour the Isle of Wight County Museum at 103 Main St., open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 4 p.m. Sunday.

According to Poche, a cold front will move through the area late Saturday, bringing a chance of thunderstorms and lowering temperatures back down into the mid-80s by Sunday, with lows in the upper 60s.