Millions in central US face 'extraordinary' heat, stifling humidity this weekend

By By Alex Sosnowski, AccuWeather senior meteorologist.
June 21, 2016, 4:45:07 AM EDT

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The combination of extreme temperatures, high humidity and blazing sunshine will have millions sweltering in a dangerous heat wave across the central and southern Plains this weekend.

Temperatures already surged to above-average levels over much of the central and southern Plains at midweek.

On Thursday, a 3-year-old boy died after accidentally locking himself in a hot car in Houston, according to CNN. He climbed into the back seat to retrieve a toy he'd left behind and became unable to open the back door because child protective locks were on.

The dangerous heat will continue over the weekend with actual temperatures surging well into the 90s and even reaching into the 100s in some locations.

AccuWeather RealFeel® Temperatures will be significantly higher than the actual temperature and approach or exceed 110 in some areas.


The extreme conditions will make it dangerous for those partaking in strenuous physical activity or for those without access to air-conditioning.

It is wise to take precautions to beat the heat by drinking plenty of water, avoiding unnecessary outdoor activity, seeking shade or air conditioned buildings and wearing light-colored clothing.


Heavy rainfall over part of the region in recent months has dampened the soil in some areas and saturated it in others.

Some of this moisture will evaporate and add to the high humidity levels in the region.

"The magnitude of the humid air like we have now over the High Plains is quite infrequent," according to AccuWeather Enterprise Solutions Chief Innovation Executive Mike Smith.

"For that reason, this heat wave will be extraordinary over the High Plains," he said.

Oppressive heat to challenge all-time records across the southwestern US this weekend
Early-week gusty storms may threaten outdoor activities and travel
2016 US summer forecast

The heat will have some benefits, however.

In the past week or so, downpours have affected a relatively small area of the winter wheat belt.

"After a very wet May in winter wheat areas of Oklahoma and Kansas, the hot and mainly rain-free weather during June will create nearly ideal harvest conditions in many locations," Smith said.

The core of heat will migrate slowly westward and will take root in the Southwestern states, where the most extreme temperatures are likely and could rival levels rarely felt over the past 100 years.

However, heat will briefly surge northeastward Sunday into Monday over parts of the middle Mississippi and Ohio valleys.

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