Heat to continue through next week

Friday, August 10, 2007 | 4:20 p.m. CDT; updated 2:04 p.m. CDT, Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Columbia - The heat is here to stay for Columbia residents. The National Weather Service reports a high of 96 degrees on Friday, and that is only the beginning.

“The conceptual models are suggesting this heat could last for the entirety of next week,” said Benjamin Sipprell, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in St. Louis. “There might be a break in the action at the end of next week but it looks like the humidity should stick around for all of next week.”

Tips for Staying Cool

Deidre Wood, a spokeswoman for the Columbia/Boone County Health Department, suggested following these tips during the summer heat: — Dress for the heat — Use a hat or umbrella to shield the sun — Drink plenty of water and avoid alcohol and caffeine — Eat small meals more often — Stay indoors when possible, preferably in air conditioning and take regular breaks if you’re physically active

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Sipprell said the heat index should stay between 105 degrees and 110 degrees all next week. A high pressure area over Springfield that is moving east to Columbia and St. Louis will cause additional heat and moisture, he said.

Sipprell also said this pressure will cause it to cool down later in the evening.

He advised anyone who will be outside in the heat to take it easy.

Deidre Wood, a spokeswoman for the Columbia/Boone County Health Department, said that when the weather is this bad, older people usually have the hardest time because the medicine they take for pre-existing conditions affects their body differently when it’s hot out. These medicines include antihistamines, over-the-counter sleeping pills, antidepressants and cardiac drugs. She said the health department recommends that if you have older family members or neighbors, check on them often and make sure they have access to air conditioning.

Wood also said the city’s eight cooling stations are a good option during the heat.

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