Another scorcher

Published 10:51 am Thursday, June 9, 2011

David "Boo Boo" Pope seasons pork chops cooked over charcoal for a Newsoms Ruritan Club fundraiser during the Virginia Pork Fesitval on Wednesday as club members Damian Dwyer, from left, Steve Tucker and Ben Bryant take a break from the heat. DALE LIESCH/TIDEWATER NEWS

EMPORIA—Wednesday’s record-breaking 100-degree heat in Franklin felt even hotter to Steve Tucker.

That’s because Tucker spent four hours cooking pork chops over 300 pounds of hot coals for a Newsoms Ruritan Club fundraiser during the Virginia Pork Festival in Emporia.

“I would say it was well over 115 to 120 degrees,” he said.

While Emporia on Wednesday reached a record-high 95 degrees — breaking a record of 94 set in 1999 — Franklin set records on Wednesday and Thursday for the fifth and sixth time over the past 11 days. Franklin’s 100 degrees on Wednesday broke a 59-year-old record-high of 98. Thursday’s high of 102 broke a record 98 set in 1999.

On Memorial Day, temperatures hit 100, breaking a record 93 set on May 30, 1991. A record-high 98 degrees was recorded on May 31; the old record of 94 was set in 1969.

Another record breaker was set on June 1 when it hit 99; the old record was 96 from 1991. June 2 it hit 97; the previous record of 95 was set in 1991.

Dan Proch, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Wakefield, said a high-pressure system centered over the Southeastern United States is causing the heat.

“We’re getting kind of a southwest wind, pushing up a lot of warm temperatures our way,” Proch said.

Thursday was the last day for the “extreme heat,” with temperatures dropping into the low 90s for Friday and Saturday and upper 80s for Sunday and Monday.

“When you have such high temperatures, the upper 80s seems kind of nice,” he said.

There’s also a chance of thunderstorms through Saturday night.

While Tucker attempted to deal with Wednesday’s heat by drinking water, fellow Ruritan Club member Damian Dwyer drank two quart bottles of Gatorade and about six 20-ounce bottles of water while helping cook the chops.

“Most years I haven’t had trouble with it (the heat), but it was hot,” Dwyer said.