Columbia faces heat advisory into the weekend

Wednesday, August 20, 2014 | 5:36 p.m. CDT; updated 7:50 p.m. CDT, Thursday, August 21, 2014
Asher Martin, 3, cools down at the sprayground at Flat Branch Park on Wednesday. Temperatures peaked Wednesday at 92 degrees, according to weather data collected at Columbia Regional Airport.

COLUMBIA — An excessive heat advisory is in place for Columbia and several mid-Missouri counties, according to the National Weather Service.

The heat warning took effect at 1 p.m. Wednesday until 7 p.m. Sunday. The warning covers parts of Audrain, Boone, Callaway, Cole, Montgomery and Osage counties of mid-Missouri, said Laura Kanofsky, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service in St. Louis.

Columbia's cooling centers

  • Activity and Recreation Center, 1701 W. Ash St., 874-7700
  • Armory Sports and Recreation Center, 701 E. Ash St., 817-5077
  • Boone County Government Center, 801 E. Walnut, 886-4305
  • Columbia Public Library, 100 W. Broadway, 443-3161
  • The Salvation Army Corps Community Center, 1108 W. Ash St., 442-3229
  • Salvation Army Harbor House, 602 N. Ann St., 442-1984
  • St. Francis House, 901 Range Line St., 875-4913

The weather service reports that temperatures are expected to linger in the mid-90s well into the weekend. On Thursday and Friday, temperatures will climb to 96 — though it'll feel more like 103. Saturday's forecast will stand at the apex of the heat advisory with temperatures reaching 97.

As promised, this week will bring about the hottest temperatures of the summer with five consecutive days in the mid-90s and heat indexes exceeding 100.

This combination of high temperature and humidity can lead to an increased risk of heat-related stress and illness. Residents are encouraged to be aware of Columbia's cooling centers and programs available during regular business hours, according to the city's website.

The weather service encourages people in the area to use these cooling centers, reschedule outdoor activities to early morning or late evening hours and take note of signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke. For more information, Kanofsky urged residents to go to the National Weather Service's website.

This is the first heat advisory that has been issued for the mid-Missouri area this summer, Kanofsky said.

Asher Martin, 3, tries to plug one of the fountains at Flat Branch Park on Wednesday. (Photo: T.J. Thomson/Missourian)

At the beginning of next week, residents will get a break from the extreme heat when temperatures drop to around 90.

"The first real relief may occur during the middle to late part of next week," Kanofsky said. "But, a forecast that far away is uncertain."

This year's highest temperature recorded by the weather service at Columbia Regional Airport was 95 degrees on July 26, whereas last year's high reached 100 degrees twice in the month of August. This week's heat wave could push temperatures back into the higher levels expected for this time of year.

Supervising editor is Mary Ryan.

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