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Yesterday was the hottest day of the year so far – and it’s only going to get hotter as the week goes on.

Our normal high this time of year is 91 degrees, but Thursday brings a high of 97 and a heat index of 102 degrees.

By the time we reach Friday, the humidity will increase and we may see the heat index come close to 110 degrees.

If you are planning on spending time outdoors, be safe. Bring water and try to stay in the shade.

Cooling stations in Wake County

Wake County will provide several cooling stations starting Wednesday. Here’s where you can find them.

Regional Centers and Health and Human Services Centers

Wednesday, noon-5:15 p.m.

Thursday-Friday, 8:30 a.m.-5:15 p.m.

  • Wake County Health & Human Services, 220 Swinburne St., Raleigh
  • Wake County Health & Human Services Center at Departure, 5809 Departure Drive, Raleigh
  • Eastern Regional Center, 1002 Dogwood Drive, Zebulon
  • Northern Regional Center, 350 E. Holding Ave., Wake Forest
  • Southern Regional Center, 130 N. Judd Parkway NE, Fuquay-Varina
  • Western Health and Human Services Center, 111 James Jackson Ave., Cary

Wake County Public Libraries

Wednesday, noon-closing time

Thursday-Sunday, normal operating hours

Opening and closing times for libraries vary, so visitors can check online or call their local library for site-specific information and hours.

Sites that are not normally open to the public, such as EMS stations, fire stations and county fleet maintenance buildings, will not be available as cooling stations.

Staying safe in the heat

Heat exhaustion and heat stroke pose threats in extreme heat. It’s important to stay hydrated, especially if you’re planning on spending time outdoors.

If possible, try to take breaks from the outdoors throughout the day or find a spot in the shade. If you notice your heart rate increasing significantly or you start to feel dizzy or nauseated, get to a cool place as soon as you can or find a shaded area. If you’re at the beach, it may help to put some ice or a cold beverage from the cooler on your pulse points to help cool your body down.

Sip on water slowly, and rest until the symptoms subside. Seek medical help, if necessary.