Evacuations were ordered for some low-lying areas in the Gulf Coast and across the region, people boarded up homes, stocked up on supplies and got ready for the storm. Isaac could become the first hurricane to hit the region since 2008.
The National Hurricane Center's forecast map shows that it could hit somewhere along a stretch of Gulf Coast running from southern Louisiana to the western edge of the Florida Panhandle.
Rainfall may bring short-term relief, but experts doubt it will be effective.
Nearly all of Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri and Illinois are in extreme or exceptional drought, with Illinois showing the most-dramatic climb in those categories.
The Jackson County medical examiner says John Watzlawick died of heat-related illness in July. According to the death report, Watzlawick had a body temperature of 108 degrees when he arrived in the emergency room after collapsing on his mail route.
U.S. forecasters say the storm will likely turn into a hurricane by Friday. Isaac could hit Florida, where the Republican National Convention is set to begin Monday.
Jefferson and West junior high schools will dismiss at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday and Thursday because of heat, Columbia Public Schools has announced.
The 2012 drought has strained hardwood trees and their mast crops, which might simplify deer hunting. Forestry experts warn, however, that we will not know the extent of the tree damage until next spring.
A typical American household uses up to 2,800 gallons of water each week, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. After months without rain, many rural homeowners and businesses are being forced to buy that water from private suppliers or to drill new or deeper wells.
It was the hottest July on record for the contiguous 48 states this year. For Missouri, the month of July was the fifth hottest on record. Along with the heat, the drought conditions in Missouri are expected to continue through mid-September.
With continued heat and little rain, soybean farmers are facing diminished yields for the 2012 growing season.
Thirty-one days of record-breaking temperatures made July 2012 one of the hottest Julys in Columbia history.
Saturday night's thunderstorm will have little effect on the current severe drought conditions. No significant rainfall is expected in the 10-day forecast.
High heat and dry weather helped spread a house fire to neighboring homes in a Kansas City suburb.
A Lawrence County village is offering free water to residents for fire protection and prevention.
The blistering hot weather is now blamed for another death in the St. Louis area, this time in St. Charles County.
Boone County residents recall the quirky and imaginative tricks they used to "beat the heat" back in 1956, the year of the previously most widespread drought in the U.S.
The Missourian asked people around Columbia how they are withstanding record temperatures.
Temperatures will continue to rise in Columbia this week, prompting another heat advisory for mid-Missouri by the National Weather Service.
The heat brought an expected benefit for peppers and other crops: Their flavors became unusually concentrated, producing some of the most potent-tasting produce in years.