SIKESTON -- If you thought Monday was hot, then brace yourself for the rest of the week.
"This wouldn't be a good time for the air conditioner to go out," said Dave Purdy, meteorological technician at the National Weather Service in Paducah, Ky.
Temperatures were in the mid-90s, and the combination of heat and humidity resulted in heat indices approaching 100 degrees throughout the area Monday afternoon. The same conditions are forecast across the region today through Friday but this time heat indices ranging from 100 to 105 degrees are expected, the National Weather Service said Monday.
The worst conditions are expected Thursday when a heat advisory may be needed.
"Thursday will be pretty bad, and a cold front won't be through until late Friday -- if it even gets here," Purdy said.
The excessive heat warning that up until Monday only applied to St. Louis was to be extended to central, northeast and western Missouri, the National Weather Service said.
No heat advisories or excessive heat warnings have been issued yet for Southeast Missouri, but that could easily change, Purdy said. A heat advisory means the heat index is forecast to reach or exceed 105 degrees, and an excessive heat warning is issued when the heat index is forecast to reach or exceed 110 degrees on at least two consecutive days.
"If the heat index is between 100 and 105, it's hazardous to people with health conditions; if it's over 105, it's hazardous to everyone's health," Purdy said about the difference in advisories.
Temperatures are expected to be in the mid- to upper-90s through Friday. Lows won't get below 70 by more than a degree or so, Purdy said.
"It's just that kind of weather pattern and it may last longer than that. It's summer now, and we can expect trends like this," Purdy said.
Some relief is forecast for the weekend with a 20 percent chance of thunderstorms Friday and a 30-40 percent chance Saturday; however, it's too early to determine if severe weather is possible, Purdy said.
The average high in Sikeston for July is 90.7 degrees with the record high for the month being 107 degrees on July 16, 1980, according to the Midwestern Regional Climate Center in Champaign, Ill.
In August the average high in Sikeston is 89 degrees; the highest recorded temperature for the month is 104 degrees on Aug. 1, 1980. The normal high for September is 82 degrees with the highest recorded temperature for the month being 101 degrees on Sept. 10, 1980.
Last year 25 Missourians died due to heat-related causes; 12 of these persons were age 65 or older.
The closest heat-related deaths in the area occurred in 2001 when a 74-
year-old man died in his Cape Girardeau home with no air conditioning. Last year, two people died in their closed-up home also in Cape Girardeau, the Paducah National Weather Service office reports.
Emergency room workers at Missouri Delta Medical Center in Sikeston have already seen a handful of heat-related injuries over the past week, ER nurse manager Steve Hampton said.
"Of the people we've treated, some were feeling overheated, others were red and flushed and feeling like they're going to pass out," Hampton said. "It was mainly people trying to work in the heat either with their jobs or doing yard work."
Hampton also said the ER sees an increase in kidney stone cases in the summer because people aren't taking in fluids like they should. Heat-related illnesses can be avoided, Hampton said.
"Everybody needs to stay indoors as much as possible, do their outdoor work early in the morning and drink plenty of fluids -- as much as they're sweating out," Hampton said.