The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

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June 27, 2012

Heat warning in effect for Joplin area

JOPLIN, Mo. — Temperatures could hit 105 degrees this week in Southwest Missouri as a strong high pressure system over the Midwest brings excessive heat to the region, according to the National Weather Service forecast office at Springfield.

“We are flirting with all-time records for the month of June,” said Andy Boxell, a meteorologist with the weather service. “The record for June (in Joplin) — 104 degrees — was set on June 13, 1908.”

The 30-year average high for this time of year is 88 degrees.

Boxell said conditions are creating increasing concern about fire. In Stone County, where conditions are extremely dry, a grass fire was started when a blade on a mower struck a rock, he said.

Wildfires have sprung up in recent days in western Kansas, where temperatures have hit 113 degrees.

The Springfield forecast office issued an excessive-heat advisory on Monday. That has since been upgraded to a warning, which will remain in effect until 7 p.m. Saturday. The highest readings are likely to occur today and Friday afternoon.

Afternoon temperatures are expected to range from 98 to 105 degrees. Heat index values, a combination of humidity and temperature, will range from 100 to 108 degrees, Boxell said.

On Saturday, a slight decrease in temperatures could take place.

Said Boxell: “We could go back to being under a heat advisory as opposed to a heat warning.”

The excessive heat will make prolonged outdoor activities dangerous, according to the National Weather Service. Outdoor activities should be rescheduled to early morning or evening if possible, the service said.

People who go outdoors in the heat of the day should wear lightweight and loose-fitting clothing, and drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.

OSHA guidelines

FOR THOSE WORKING OUTDOORS, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration recommends scheduling frequent rest breaks in shaded or air-conditioned environments. Anyone who is overcome by heat should be moved to a cool and shaded location. Heat stroke should be treated as a life-threatening emergency.

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