Nearly all of Missouri is covered by either an excessive heat warning or a heat advisory, both issued by the National Weather Service.
Warning Coordination Meteorologist for the Service’s Kansas City area office, Andy Bailey, explains the differences between the two.
“When we’re looking at excessive heat warnings we’re looking at a little more severe conditions than with a heat advisory … either more severe or more prolonged. Probably the reason you see those warnings already in effect over western Missouri and eastern Kansas is that that’s where the heat’s going to strike first. If we see this event unfold over the course of several days and we see day after day of extreme heat you’ll probably start to see those excessive heat warnings progress further to the east.”
While the two products indicate different information, Bailey says the public is urged to do similar things when either is in place.
“What they need to do is limit their outdoor activity during the hottest part of the day. We tell people they can either conduct whatever they have to do outside early in the morning or late in the evening when temperatures have cooled off a bit that would be best. they need to drink plenty of clear liquids … things like water … certainly non-alcoholic beverages because alcohol actually speeds up the dehydration process.”
The Weather Service also asks people to check on those who may be particularly at risk in extreme heat. “Check on elderly neighbors or relatives as well. Make sure they’re doing OK. If they don’t have air conditioning, bring them someplace that does, whether it’s their own home or cooling centers around the region.”
Children also require additional attention. “Kids can actually be more vulnerable to the heat than adults. They’ve got littler bodies, littler body masses, and it’s easier for their temperatures to raise quicker so certainly you need to bring them in periodically. If you head to the swimming pool make sure they’re slathered with plenty of sunscreen because sunburn will also exasperate the heat’s effects as well.”
Click the image with this story to go to the National Weather Service for the latest information on the heat warnings and watches in effect in the state. You can follow links to the Weather Service office for your area.