[Nameplate] Overcast ~ 74°F  
High: 85°F ~ Low: 71°F
Sunday, Aug. 31, 2014

No relief from heat, yet

Sunday, August 26, 2007

SIKESTON -- Hot temperatures are scorching the area, with temperatures hitting at least 90 degrees since the beginning of the month.

And it doesn't look like there's much relief in sight until the end of the week.

"We might actually see a cool down from the low to mid-90s to the upper 80s by the end of this week," said Deanna Lindstrom, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service regional office in Paducah.

Chances for rain remain low, however, with only a 20 percent chance of showers this Wednesday.

The last time temperatures did not reach 90 degrees or above was on July 30, according to the Sikeston Power Plant, which serves as an official weather observer for the NWS. As of press time, the last recorded rainfall was .57 inches July 16.

Cape Girardeau has set a record for the number of days with temperatures greater than or equal to 90 degrees, Lindstrom said. It is unknown whether Sikeston has too, since that information is not in the NWS database.

Several problems come with hot, dry conditions like Southeast Missouri is experiencing. With the dry grass, fires can "spread and get out of hand very quickly," said Sgt. Tommy Conn of the Sikeston Department of Public Safety.

"Even a little bit of rain still won't be enough to turn the dry grass into green grass where it won't have a potential danger," he continued.

Because of that threat, the city as well as several surrounding counties have issued no burn orders. Even small fires pose severe threats to surrounding property, including buildings, said a DPS news release.

"All a person has to do is flip a cigarette out of the window and if it hits a certain spot, it's going to start a fire," Lindstrom said.

No such fires have occurred yet, according to area sheriff's departments. Good Humor-Breyers is facing some challenges related to the weather, too.

"When it gets this hot outside, it gets hard to keep the humidity out and keep the plant as cool as necessary," said Clovis Delwiche, engineering services manager.

Temperatures on the production floor range between 65 and 70 degrees, he continued. However, the cold storage room is kept at negative 20 degrees.

"That is the hardest part for sure at this time of year," Delwiche said. "We just try to limit the access in and out of there as much as we can."

The units were designed for 100 degree temperatures outside, Delwiche said, and no ice cream products have spoiled due to the temperatures.

At Missouri Delta Medical Center, the number of heat-related emergencies are lower than expected.

"We have had very few that were directly heat-related," said Terry Paxton, director of the ER and Express Care.

Paxton said most of the cases involved middle-aged people who work outside.