LAWRENCEVILLE -- The dog days of summer have arrived with a vengeance.
Locals responded Wednesday afternoon to reports of the weekend forecast, which could mean highs of 99 degrees on Friday, 101 on Saturday and 102 on Sunday.
"Now, that's hot," said Sandra Murphy, a 12-year resident of Lawrenceville. "I can't remember the last time it got so bad, but I'll tell you one thing, summer done snuck up on everybody."
Murphy stood outside Wal-Mart Wednesday afternoon pushing a shopping cart full to the brim with gallons of water and cases of beer. "Don't worry about us," she said, grinning. "We'll be all right."
Dacula resident Theresa Poole said she and her family also planned to stay inside, "where it's nice and cool" this weekend.
Weather officials are recommending that people keep their activities mostly indoors as they brace for sultry weather.
Alex Gibbs with the National Weather Service in Peachtree City said the highest local temperatures recorded in 2011 didn't top 99 degrees, and this weekend could be a record-breaker.
While the National Weather Service has not yet issued a heat advisory for the weekend, Gibbs said it's not out of the question.
Local weather enthusiast Jon Richards said Lawrenceville is "going to be right on the edge of the danger area, and the weather service very well could call for a heat advisory, which would be unusual."
Added Richards: "It's going to be really, really hot."
While the weekend could be sweltering, Richards said some mild relief could come by next week. "By Monday, it could quote, unquote, cool off to the upper 90s," said Richards, adding that a 20-percent chance of rain is predicted for Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.
Richards said those concerned about this weekend's scorching highs should consider wearing light-colored clothing, a hat and avoid being outside unless necessary. He said those with pets outdoors should make sure the animals have plenty of water.
"I'm hoping for everybody's sake that it does cool down," Richards said. "It could be really brutal."
Murphy hoped it would cool down too, but she was stoic. "Well, it is Georgia. What did you expect? It gets hot in the summer. Real hot. Always does."