July 22, 2016 02:45 PM
The next three days will be all about the heat.
Dangerously hot conditions are expected in most of Minnesota through Friday with temperatures in the 90s and heat indices reaching well into the 100s.
"We have a three-day heat wave in store," KSTP meteorologist Sam Ryan said.
On Wednesday, Ryan says the high is expected to be 92 degrees in the Twin Cities with the heat index reaching 100 degrees. Thursday could reach 98 degrees with the heat index shooting up to 115 degrees. On Friday, the high is expected to reach 94, with the heat index punching into the low 100s.
The National Weather Service has issued an excessive heat warning from 1-7 p.m. Wednesday that will continue daily through 7 p.m. Friday.
The southeast and northeast parts of the state will be in excessive heat watches, which means it will be slightly cooler but still important to use caution.
Dew points will be between 75 and 80 percent, and the heat index could shoot up to 115 degrees, the National Weather Service said.
People should use caution to avoid heat-related illness including heat exhaustion and heat stroke. People should drink fluids, stay out of the sun, use air-conditioned rooms and check on neighbors. They should also wear light clothing and not leave people or pets in a closed, parked vehicle.
And if the heat and humidity weren't enough, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency has issued an air pollution advisory that goes into effect Thursday at 11 a.m. It includes the Twin Cities Metro north and east to Cambridge, North Branch, Forest Lake and Stillwater. Sunny skies, hot temps and light winds add up to an increase in ground-level ozone.
Get the full forecast here.
St. Paul recreation centers will open by 10 a.m., and splash pad hours are extended until 9 p.m.
Harbor Light Center, 1010 Currie Ave., in Minneapolis will be open from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. through Saturday.
All Salvation Army locations will be open as cooling stations during business hours.
The following locations will be open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. through Friday:
The cooling stations will also offer water to ensure people stay hydrated.
The Maplewood and Roseville libraries will stay open until midnight Wednesday and Thursday.
The Minneapolis Department of Health says if you see an animal outside or in a car exhibiting signs of heat stress, call Minneapolis Animal Care & Control. In Minneapolis, dial 311 (612-673-3000). If you believe the situation to be life-threatening, please call 911.
High temperatures and humidity will bake much of the central U.S. this week, making it feel as hot as 115 degrees in some places and leading some cities to open cooling stations and take other precautions.
The high pressure system, sometimes called a "heat dome," will push conditions to their hottest point so far this summer, though record hot temperatures aren't expected, according to the National Weather Service. Authorities from Minnesota to Louisiana are warning people to take precautions and check on the elderly and other vulnerable neighbors and relatives.
A 4-year-old Illinois girl was hospitalized Tuesday after being found unresponsive in a hot vehicle in a suburb northwest of Chicago. Details on her condition weren't released. Investigators think the girl climbed into the vehicle without her parents' knowledge after overhearing conversations about going to her grandmother's home for dinner, the McHenry County Sheriff's Office said Wednesday.
In neighboring Missouri, officials blamed heat for the death last week of an elderly woman in St. Louis County.
Temperatures were forecast to reach the 90s for most areas of the central U.S. starting Wednesday and lasting into the weekend in some places. High humidity will make it feel anywhere from 105 to 115 degrees.
"We're not talking record-breaking heat by any stretch," said Andrew Krein, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service's Chicago-area office. "The only thing is it is the warmest it's been this summer, so in that respect people may not be prepared for it."
Excessive heat warnings put out by the weather service were in effect Wednesday for parts of Minnesota, the Dakotas, Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Illinois.
Thunderstorms and a cold front descending south across Lake Michigan could provide some relief Friday for parts of the Great Lakes region.
Heat is the leading cause of weather-related deaths, ahead of flooding, Krein said.
Cities around the region were opening cooling centers. Health departments put out safety tips advising people to check on the elderly, stay hydrated and avoid strenuous outdoor activity. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration urged employers to protect laborers doing construction, road and agricultural work.
Jerry Main, who plants corn and soybeans on about 500 acres in southeast Iowa near Fairfield, said farmers plan outdoor work in early mornings to avoid the hottest part of the day.
"As far as cutting weeds by hand or manual labor outside I would say most farmers will spend a good share of the afternoon in the house," he said.
This time of year, many Midwest farmers are spraying soybean fields to control weeds, a task likely performed from the cab of an air-conditioned tractor. Others are applying fungicide to corn, which is sometimes done by airplane.
Krein, the meteorologist, said the maturing corn crops this time of year are partly to blame for the sudden increase in humidity, along with the main source: moisture from the Gulf of Mexico.
"Corn is a very effective transporter of moisture from the ground into the atmosphere," he said, adding that that moisture is also then blown over urban areas such as Chicago.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Updated: July 22, 2016 02:45 PM
Created: July 20, 2016 05:22 AM
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