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Officials tell residents to stay hydrated ahead of high temperatures hitting Mid-Missouri this week


While summer doesn't officially start for almost two weeks, temperatures reaching into the 90s and humidity are expected to smother Mid-Missouri this week.

According to the ABC 17 Stormtrack Weather Team, temperatures will reach the 90-degree range starting Wednesday and remain there throughout at least Sunday due to winds from the south. Normal highs this time of year are in the lower to mid-80s, according to National Weather Service data.

Highs in the next week could reach as high as 95, couple with extreme humidity, which some residents aren't happy about.

"“I'm sad about it I think it is interesting that it's happening so early.... it's always a toss-up in the Midwest with these crazy weather changes, so not super surprised, but a little surprised this early," Columbia resident Anna Beck said.

Officials are giving residents a heads up on safety tips before the impending heat hits the area.

The Missouri State Emergency Management Agency defines a heat wave as a prolonged period of excessive heat, often combined with excessive humidity.

"As Missourians well know, heat and humidity in the summer is no joke and can even be deadly in some cases, so it's extremely important to be prepared and make sure you’re taking the necessary steps to stay safe,” SEMA spokesperson Katy Linnenbrink said.

Linnenbrink said before high heat hits the area, there are many things you can do to prepare. Those include installing air conditioners snugly into the window and not setting central air conditioning lower than 78 degrees. They also recommend installing temporary window reflectors to reflect the heat back outside of the home and to keep storm windows up all year.

If air conditioning is not available, open all windows early in the morning to get rid of the heat in the home, keep doors leading outside closed during the hottest parts of the day and use fans as much as possible to keep air circulating.

SEMA suggests staying indoors as much as possible. They also suggest dressing in loose-fitted clothes, drinking plenty of water and eating light, well-balanced meals. Sunscreen and a wide-brim hat will help prevent sun rays from heating up the body.

“Limit your outdoor exposure as much as you can, especially during those hottest times of the day, you know, that late morning to early afternoon try to stay inside if you can,” Linnenbrink said.

The National Weather Service says extreme heat causes the most annual deaths of all weather-related hazards and says there are differences between heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

Dr. Christopher Sampson, an Emergency Physician at MU Health Care, said heat stroke is more severe than heat exhaustion.

"The most severe thing is heatstroke. And when that occurs, somebody could be unconscious, they're not going to be responsive, they can even have a seizure and ultimately, that can even lead to death," Sampson said.

Heat exhaustion will cause dizziness, thirst, heavy sweating, nausea and weakness. Heat strokes will cause confusion, dizziness and will cause a person to become unconscious. In the event of a heat stroke, call 911 immediately.

If you do start to experience symptoms due to the heat, Sampson recommends getting to a cool area as soon as possible.

"The first thing you need to do is try and get out of the heat," Sampson said. "If you can get into a shaded area, ideally, if you get in somewhere where it's cooler, so inside a building that has air conditioning, even inside a vehicle that has AC, you really want to get out of the heat right away.”

The most vulnerable people who will be impacted by heat include pregnant individuals, newborns, children, the elderly and people diagnosed with chronic illnesses.

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services has provided an online map showing cooling centers around the state that are available for anyone who needs a place to get out of the heat.

According to the City of Columbia’s website, Columbia's cooling centers include:

  • Activity & Recreation Center, 1701 W. Ash St.
    Monday – Friday: 5:30 a.m. – 9:30 p.m.
    Saturday: 7 a.m. – 6 p.m.
    Sunday: 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. 
    Open July 4 from 11 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
  • City Hall, 701 E. Broadway St.; Monday-Friday 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
  • Columbia/Boone County Public Health and Human Services, 1005 W. Worley St.; Monday-Friday 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
  • Columbia Public Library, 100 West Broadway
    Monday – Thursday: 9 a.m. – 8 p.m.
    Friday: 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
    Saturday: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
    Sunday: 1 – 5 p.m.
  • Salvation Army, 1108 West Ash Street; Monday – Friday: 9 a.m. – noon, 1 – 4 p.m.
  • Salvation Army Harbor House, 602 N. Ann St.; Daily: 6 a.m. – 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. – 10 p.m.
  • St. Francis House, 901 Range Line St.; Monday – Saturday: 7-8:30 a.m.; Every evening: 7 – 9 p.m.
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Gabrielle Teiner


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