UPDATE: As of 11:11 a.m. on Friday, July 30, 2021, the heat advisory in Chattanooga has been canceled due to cloud cover that has kept temperatures low, according to our news partners at WRCB-TV.
ORIGINAL STORY: Chattanoogans sweltered Thursday through the hottest weather yet this summer, but temperatures are forecast to rise even more Friday.
The National Weather Service has issued a heat advisory for Friday — the first such advisory this summer — with the heat index expected to top out in the afternoon at around 105 degrees. The actual temperature in Chattanooga is forecast to rise to about 97 or 98 degrees Fahrenheit but high humidity levels will make temperatures feel like they are in the triple digits.
Temperatures rose in Chattanooga to 95 degrees Fahrenheit on Thursday, tying the summertime high previously set last month.
"A ridge of high pressure continues to dominate the middle part of the nation, keeping temperatures and humidity levels high," said David Hotz, meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Morristown. "With all this heat, we encourage anyone who has to be outside in the hot weather to make sure they drink plenty of fluids, try to stay in the shade and take plenty of breaks."
Some construction and roofing companies have readjusted work schedules to avoid outdoor tasks during the afternoon. Eureka Foundry shifts its work to just early morning and evening shifts during the summer to help keep foundry workers cool and avoid energy use during the peak periods of the day, company president Fred Hetzler said.
On Wednesday, electricity consumption across the Tennessee Valley rose to 30,209 megawatts at 6 p.m. when temperatures across the Tennessee Valley averaged 93 degrees and air conditioners ran on high to keep homes, offices and factories cool. That was the highest power usage in TVA's 7-state region since July 2012.
TVA was expecting an even higher demand Thursday, although the final consumption numbers won't be tabulated until Friday morning.
Aaron Melda, senior vice president of power supply for TVA, said the utility is ready for the high power load.
"We've invested many dollars in both our generation and our transmission systems to ensure that we are ready for this kind of event," he said.
The peak demand for TVA is still likely to be well below its all-time high of 33,482 megawatts reached in the summer of 2007 when temperatures were above 100 degrees across the Tennessee Valley.
— Compiled by Dave Flessner