While no records should be broken, central Illinois residents must deal with potentially dangerous heat and humidity through the remaining week.
The National Weather Service has issued an excessive heat warning through at least Saturday, during which daytime temperatures will linger in the mid-90s.
Mid-July typically holds the year’s hottest days. For area residents this week, it’s both the heat and humidity that poses dangers, warns the weather service.
“With dewpoints rising well into the 70s, afternoon heat index readings will peak from 105 to 110” through Saturday, stated the service.
“The combination of heat and humidity will create a dangerous situation in which heat illnesses are likely” for those exposed for long periods, according to the agency’s alert.
Dawn Cook, director of the Tazewell County Emergency Services Agency, said the following Pekin-area agencies have offered their locations as cooling centers.
• Pekin Police Department headquarters lobby at 111 S. Capitol St.
• Illinois Department of Human Services at 200 S. Second St.
• Salvation Army of Pekin at 243 Derby St.
• Washington Police Department headquarters lobby at 115 W. Jefferson St.
“People can go to a library or other air-conditioned public places” if necessary, Cook said. “I tell people to go hang out” at fast food restaurants.
To avoid the weather’s health dangers, the weather service advises people to drink plenty of water, wear light-weight, light-colored clothes and reduce strenuous activity or reserve it for early or late in the day.
Children and pets should not be left in unattended vehicles for any period, the agency warned. Inside temperatures can quickly reach lethal levels.
Pekin sits on the eastern edge of the weather service’s excessive heat warning that stretches west into eastern Nebraska and Kansas. While rain could offer brief respite through the week, turbulent weather will remain north, where a flood warning extends into southern Wisconsin.
The heat and humidity should ease by Sunday. Highs are predicted in the upper 80s then and in the lower 80s on Monday.
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