A very summer-like pattern has shaped up across Mid-Missouri with hot temperatures and increasing humidity for the rest of this week. A large upper-level high pressure ridge is centered across the Plains and Rockies and is starting to migrate east as we close in on the end of the week. Temperatures are expected to be above average across much of the country into the weekend, with little relief in sight.
Rain chances will be hard to come by with this high pressure in place, but we can't rule out a chance for some pop-up storms on Friday and Saturday as a weak front tries to work into the area. These won't cool us down much as high temperatures are expected to reach the upper 80s to low 90s across Mid-Missouri through early next week.
We could see our first 90-degree high temperature since September as early as Thursday, with low 90s expected on Friday and Saturday. Typically we hit 90 degrees by around May 31, but the latest we've hit 90 in Columbia was recorded on July 14 in 1904. The average number of days at 90 or above sits around 40, but as many as 83 have been recorded in Columbia.
Dew points will also be in the upper 60s to around 70 through Saturday, sending the heat index into the mid-upper 90s from Thursday through Saturday.
In addition to staying hydrated and trying to stay cool by taking breaks and heading inside this weekend, keep an eye on your pets. They can't cool themselves through sweat and evaporation like humans and also have that layer of fur that traps in heat, especially pets with dark-colored coats. Make sure they have plenty of fresh, cool water and shade to relax in if you can't keep them inside during the day. Avoid taking walks on the hot pavement during peak heating of the day as pavement temperatures can exceed 150 degrees at high air temperatures.
Always check the back seat of the car and never leave children or pets unattended in vehicles when the temperatures begin to rise.
We can expect some relief early next week as our upper level pattern shifts to a more northwesterly flow, bringing in cooler, less humid air between Monday and Tuesday as temperatures drop into the low 80s for highs.