Columbia missed – by just one degree – tying the record Sunday for most consecutive 100-plus degree days.
The longest consecutive-day record for temperatures of 100 degrees or more in the Famously Hot capital city is eight – but Columbia only made it to seven such days this past week, falling short of records set in July 1990 and August 2007.
Columbia hit 99 degrees at 1:58 p.m. Sunday, according to the National Weather Service. Things cooled off later in the afternoon, falling to 91 degrees close to 4 p.m. A spattering of rain helped with that.
“Usually when this happens, we don’t rise back up as high as we were,” NWS meteorologist Whitney Smith said. “As soon as those storms move through, our temperature drops.”
Even with a temperature of 99, the day drew folks to Finlay Park just off Assembly Street. Duke and Sandra Thompson, who live in Orangeburg and work in Columbia, took their granddaughter out to a movie – and then stopped by the park.
“I was born in South Carolina, raised in Brooklyn, N.Y., and came back down here,” said Duke Thompson, 60. “I love the heat.”
They weren’t the only ones who took the chance to get out to the park. Tyrone Mazyck, 38, of Columbia, said he likes to play sports such as football and basketball, and that he wasn’t going to let a little heat stop him.
“It’s not going to stop me from going to work,” Mazyck said. “It’s not going to stop me from doing what I need to do. Eventually, I’ll be 50, 60 years old. It’s a learning experience, so I can teach the kids how to survive in the heat and how to survive out here in the world.”
High temps have taken a toll this year. A Columbia man became the state’s first heat-releated death of 2016 Wednesday.
The next couple of days are expected to be just a bit cooler. Monday’s high is forecast at 97 degrees, according to the National Weather Service website. Tuesday is expected to hit 98 degrees and Wednesday is forecast for 97.
Things will heat up later in the week, however. Thursday and Friday are both forecast to have highs of 100 degrees, and Saturday is expected to dip just a bit and top out at 98.