National Weather Service: Nighttime will provide little relief

Missouri, including all of Northeast Missouri, is bracing for a potentially dangerous round of summer heat.

The National Weather Service has issued an excessive heat warning or watch for much of the state. The warning began at noon on Tuesday, July 18 and is expected to last through Saturday, July 22.

The hottest temperatures of the year so far are expected on Friday, possibly eclipsing the 100-degree mark in Hannibal.

In St. Louis, the high temperature is expected to reach the upper-90s Tuesday and 100 degrees Wednesday through Saturday. High humidity will make it feel even worse.

The heat index could reach as hot as 115 degrees.

The Paris Senior Center is a cooling center for those without air conditioning in their homes and is open to anyone regardless of age. The center is open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Friends and relatives are encouraged to check on the elderly. Those without air-conditioning are encouraged to go someplace that has it.

Authorities also warn that pets and children should not be left unattended in cars, even briefly.

The hot spell is expected to break next week, when the forecast generally calls for highs in the low 90s.

Until then, the National Weather Service advises the probability for heat-related illnesses are high.

Heat exhaustion

Heat exhaustion happens when the body loses the ability to cool itself. This can occur when a person has been sweating heavily and not replacing fluids and electrolytes. Symptoms of heat exhaustion include headache, dizziness, loss of coordination, impaired judgment, anxiety, clammy skin and a weak, rapid pulse. Individuals with these symptoms needs to be cooled down and slowly drink fluids. Have them checked by a doctor.

Heat stroke

Heat stroke, the most serious heat-related illness, is life-threatening. It occurs when the body has lost too much water and salt. That loss, along with the body’s inability to cool itself, makes body heat rise to dangerous levels. Symptoms of heat stroke include a high body temperature with no sweating, nausea and vomiting, seizures, difficulty breathing, high blood pressure, and any of the symptoms of heat exhaustion mentioned above. If you suspect someone has heat stroke, call 911 and try to cool the person as quickly as possible.

The Associated Press and MU Extension contributed to this report.