COLUMBIA — A heat advisory has been issued for Thursday through Saturday in Columbia, with predicted temperatures between 100 and 105 degrees.
Temperatures in Columbia are expected to hit 106 degrees Thursday, which will make it the hottest day so far this year, according to the National Weather Service in St. Louis.
Nine air-conditioned locations throughout Columbia are open to the public during their regular business hours to provide cool environments, access to restrooms and sometimes drinking water. These locations are:
According to the weather service advisory, "the last time this degree of heat was felt in June for three or more consecutive days across the eastern half of Missouri and southwest Illinois was more than 60 years ago."
In addition to forecasts of record-breaking heat Thursday, the weather service predicts high temperatures through the Fourth of July: 103 degrees Friday, 99 degrees Saturday, 99 degrees Sunday, 99 degrees Monday, 99 degrees Tuesday, and 100 degrees July 4.
The increased humidity levels necessitated the heat advisory, according to the weather service. Humidity levels are set to rise Thursday, Friday and Saturday due to a cold front moving into southern Iowa.
The most extreme heat will be in the afternoons, so the notice advises avoiding strenuous outdoor activities during that time. The weather service advises working outdoors during the early morning or evening, taking breaks while working outdoors, staying in the shade, drinking plenty of water and watching for signs of heat stroke.
"The most important way to beat the heat is to stay in a air-conditioned area and drink more water," said Geni Alexander, spokeswoman for the Columbia/Boone County Department of Public Health and Human Services. "Fans are useful tools, but they should not be the primary way (to cool off)."
The Health Department reminds residents to pay attention to the heat-related illnesses and potential dangers because of the hot weather.
The department also offers information about cooling centers in Columbia. There are currently nine cooling centers provides services for residents.
"We provide magazines and internet for citizens who need a rest," said Mitzi St. John, spokeswoman for Daniel Boone Regional Library.
In addition to these options, the Health Department suggests the following tips to avoid heat-related illness:
According to the heat advisory, “very high body temperatures may damage vital organs and spur heat related illness including heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat strokes.”
In times of extreme heat, it's important to pay particular attention to the very young, the elderly and the chronically ill, according to the press release.
Heat-related illnesses include:
The heat advisory will remain in effect from noon Thursday to 7 p.m. Saturday.