Intense heat and sunshine is drying the soil at a rapid rate across much of Middle Atlantic and Southeast states. Temperatures have been running about 3 to 5 degrees above normal this summer while rainfall has been slightly below normal in most locations. The newest drought survey shows an expanding area of Moderate drought across Virginia into northern sections of North Carolina. Much of the remainder of North Carolina has abnormally dry conditions. The forecast suggests that heat wave conditions will last through the weekend as the heat index surges to near 110 degrees each afternoon. Little rainfall is expected over the next three days. A better chance for much needed rainfall will occur early next week as a cold front approaches then stalls across eastern North Carolina.