Area continues to deal with sweltering heat

Thursday, June 25, 2009
Around 5 p.m. Wednesday the thermometer at the Security Bank and Trust building on Broadway in Cape Girardeau read 93 degrees. According to meteorologists, temperatures are expected to remain in the 90s. (Elizabeth Dodd)

Southeast Missourians can expect to deal with more temperatures in the 90s.

Wednesday was the eighth day in a row that Cape Girardeau has seen temperatures in the 90s.

National Weather Service meteorologist Alex Dodd said that may not end anytime soon.

"If we get a day with a thunderstorm, that's what it would take to get us from hitting 90," Dodd said. "But it looks pretty hard-pressed to do that."

Last June, Cape Girardeau saw 11 days with temperatures of 90 or above, though those were scattered throughout the month, Dodd said. He said the longest stretch of 90-degree temperatures topped out at five days.

This year, June 17 marked a shift in temperatures. From June 7 to June 16, highs were in the 80s except one day when the high was 78. On June 17, the reading at the Cape Girardeau Regional Airport reached 93.

Dodd said anyone spending time outside during the heat should drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration, plan trips outside in shady areas and limit exercise outdoors to the early morning or late evening hours.

"Also don't be afraid to run the air conditioning," Dodd said. "The money you'll save by not running the air conditioning is not worth it if is a danger to your health."

Southeast Missouri Hospital spokesman Mark Bliss said two people had come to the hospital with heat-related illnesses over the past few days. Both had been working in the heat -- one was a construction worker, one was a farmer.

Information on heat-related cases at Saint Francis Medical Center wasn't immediately available Wednesday.

Today's forecast high is 94 degrees, with a 20 percent chance of thunderstorms. This evening the forecast calls for partly cloudy skies and 71 degrees. Friday's temperatures may reach 96, while Saturday could approach 97 degrees.

The Southeast Missouri chapter of the American Red Cross continues to operate a cooling center in the lobby of the Osage Community Centre at 1625 N. Kingshighway in Cape Girardeau. It will be open from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. today, Monday and Tuesday, 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, and noon to 6 p.m. Sunday.

The center's hours will shorten Wednesday -- 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Fridays, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays and noon to 6 p.m. Sundays.

Two or three people have used the cooling center since it opened Friday, said Dan Muser, director of parks and recreation. The Red Cross opens the center when the heat index is higher than 100 degrees for two to three days, said Jenny Knoderer, development specialist at the Red Cross. She said it will remain open as long as it's needed.

Matt Sanders, Aleshia Warner and Alaina Busch contributed to this report.

bblackwell@semissourian.com

388-3628

Pertinent address:

Cape Girardeau, MO

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