Heating up Missouri

Humid air boosts Monday’s heat index to 99 degrees
Tuesday, July 13, 2004 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 10:56 a.m. CDT, Sunday, July 20, 2008

ST. LOUIS — A wave of steamy weather descending on Missouri has prompted forecasters to issue a heat advisory through today from the St. Louis area west to Columbia.

Mid-Missourians felt the sultry heat after a new daily rainfall record for Monday of 1.69 inches in Columbia, said Arno Perlow with the National Weather Service in St. Louis.

Columbia’s high Monday reached 89 degrees, but with a relative humidity of 63 percent, it felt more like 99 degrees, Perlow said.

It would have been worse without the occasional cloud cover and morning rain, Perlow said. “We would have been well into the 90s otherwise,” he said.

Relief should come with the arrival of showers Wednesday, putting Columbia back into the mid-80s, Perlow said.

Monday’s highs came nowhere near the record high of 113, which was set on this day in 1954, he said.

In Columbia, Sunday saw the summer’s high temperature of 90 degrees, with a heat index of 103, according to the weather service.

Perlow said the weather is typical of July, noting “We’ve been pretty lucky so far.”

With the heat rising, people need to be more aware of their own health and the health of those around them, said Mary Martin, Public Health Manager at Columbia/Boone County Health Department.

“The problem is a lot of people don’t go to the emergency room,” she said. “It’s only the people that have severe reactions that go.”

Operation Weather Survival, a network of organizations that work to prevent weather-related health problems, also issued a hot weather health advisory Sunday.

The conditions aren’t record-setting, but officials asked that the elderly, children and those without air conditioning be aware that the heat can be dangerous.

Missourian Reporter Susan Achurch contributed to this report.

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