COLUMBIA — The early summer heat wave is forecast to intensify on Saturday before a cold front brings milder and more seasonable temperatures.
The National Weather Service is calling Saturday "the hottest and potentially most dangerous day" of the this week's hot spell, with temperatures forecast to climb quickly to between 95 and 100 degrees by early afternoon.
Humidity levels were expected to result in heat index values up to 110 degrees, with the dangerous conditions persisting through early evening Saturday. A heat advisory will remain in effect until 7 p.m. Saturday.
Relief from the heat, along with the possibility of storms, should arrive in the form of a cold front Saturday night when the low is forecast to dip to a relatively pleasant 68. The forecast high for Sunday is 87 with a northwest breeze.
Milder temperatures should persist through Friday; the highest temperature forecast next week is 89.
The children, elderly and people with chronic ailments are the most vulnerable to the heat, and the danger increases with prolonged exposure.
The Weather Service advises even healthy people to stop outdoor activities in times of extreme heat and humidity, and advises those who must be outside to drink plenty of water or other non-alcoholic beverages and take frequent breaks in the shade.