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High heat forecasted for UVa graduation weekend

A heatwave will roll into the Charlottesville area this week.

On Saturday, temperatures are expected to go as high as 96 degrees — the same day the University of Virginia will hold the first round of Final Exercises. The record for May 21 is 96 degrees, according to Weather Underground. The high for Sunday is 91 degrees.

The university will provide complimentary drinking water on the Lawn and have emergency medical services available to address any emergencies. Additionally, cooling rooms will be available in buildings near Cabell Hall. The ceremony also will be broadcast to climate-controlled remote viewing locations across Grounds.

A full list of locations is available at

Doors at those locations open at 8 a.m. Seating will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Water bottles will be not allowed on the Lawn, according to UVa officials. However, free canned water and filling stations will be available.

UVa is advising graduates and attendees to drink plenty of water before and during the event and monitor themselves for signs of heat exhaustion. Signs include dizziness, thirst, heavy sweating, nausea or weakness.

“The abrupt beginning of hot temperatures early in the season after a relatively cool spring brings an increased risk of heat illnesses unless proper precautions are taken for those working or recreating outdoors,” the National Weather Service said in a special weather statement.

Other precautions include wearing sunscreen as well as loose-fitting, lightweight and light-colored clothing.

On Saturday, the cooling facilities will be in Cocke Hall, Rouss Hall and Robertson Hall. On Sunday, Cocke Hall and Wilson Hall will be open.


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