The ABC 17 Stormtrack Weather Team has issued a Weather Alert Day through Sunday as dangerous heat continues to impact much of the country, including Mid-Missouri.
Heat index values could reach 105-110 degrees, making it tough to complete any work or exercise outdoors.
A Heat Advisory is in effect for the entire area through 7:00 p.m. Sunday.
Upper level high pressure continues to dominate our sensible weather, blocking any disturbances from cooling the area down. Winds have picked up from the south, allowing more moisture to surge into the region. Dew point temperatures will reach the upper 60s, making the air uncomfortably humid.
This pattern looks to hold on through the weekend before the upper high pressure ridge begins to flatten early next week. This will allow a stalled cold front to slowly move into Mid-Missouri, cooling us down gradually and bringing daily chances for scattered showers and storms.
High temperatures Sunday will reach the upper 90s, but records won't be in jeopardy as most of this week's high temperature records sit in the 110 degree range. On Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, Columbia and Jefferson City both topped 100 degrees.
The combination of sizzling high temperatures near 100 degrees and dew points in the 60s will force heat indices in the 103-106 degree range through Sunday. This combination can quickly become dangerous because it's very hard for the body to cool itself through sweating thanks to the high humidity.
Try to limit outdoor exercise to around sunrise or sunset. Stay hydrated by drinking more water than usual, and supplement with low sugar sports drinks with electrolytes. If you must work outside during the day, plan to take plenty of breaks.
Be aware of the signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Heat exhaustion is characterized by excessive sweating, feeling dizzy, nauseous, and crampy with a weak pulse. Ways to treat it include getting into a cool room, drink water, and take a cool shower.
Heat stroke can be deadly and is different from heat exhaustion in that the person will stop sweating, skin will be dry, hot, and red, and the person will have a rapid, strong pulse. The person may become unconscious and 911 should be called if heat stroke is suspected.
Always, always check the backseat of your car for pets and children. The temperature inside the car can rise up past 130 degrees when air temperatures are at 95 after just a few minutes with the engine shut off. Pets need cool shelter with plenty of cool water. Limit their walks to early morning and near sunset, and try to keep their paws off hot pavement as extreme temperatures can cause burns to their paws.