Take extra special care of your pets in the summer heat. (Photo by Ramin Talaie/Getty Images)

I don’t know if this will the hottest summer ever in North Carolina, but it’s sure shaping up that way. The official first day of summer is June 21, but it may as well have already started, especially with the forecast for this week. Other parts of the country have already been sweltering.

Record temperatures were reported in the southwest region of the U.S. this past weekend, according to NBC News. Denver hit 100 degrees. Las Vegas saw a record high of 109 degrees. Phoenix reported a temperature of 114 degrees Fahrenheit, which tied for a record set back in 1918. Death Valley, meanwhile, hit 122 degrees on Saturday setting a new record for the date.

At least out west it’s a “dry heat.” We get the added pleasure of oppressive humidity to go along with our summer temperatures. The forecast across North Carolina calls for highs in the upper-90s this week. There’s even a chance that we could top 100 in Charlotte on Tuesday (6/14).

If you do have to be outside this week, limit your time in the sun and drink plenty of water. Check in on your older neighbors to make sure they’re able to stay cool. And please be mindful of your pets, too. Don’t leave them outside too long and try to take them for walks early in the morning or after the sun has set.

8 Ways To Keep Cool This Summer