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Millions Impacted by Intense Summer Heat

A heat wave in the Plains and parts of the Midwest will affect millions of people through this week and into the beginning of the Labor Day weekend.

This heat will impact many major cities in the country's midsection, including St. Louis, Mo., Omaha, Neb., Sioux Falls, S.D., Des Moines, Iowa and Minneapolis, Minn.

Additionally, thunderstorms riding along the northern edge of this dome of heat will bring the threat of stronger storms to parts of the Great Lakes and the Northeast.

Temperatures approaching the 100-degree mark will force residents of the Plains and Midwest to take action to avoid some of the dangers that this heat wave will bring.

The most dangerous time of day during a heat wave is the afternoon when temperatures are the hottest and when sunshine is most intense.

If you plan on being outside during the heat of the afternoon, there are several precautions that you can take to minimize the chance of heat-related injuries. Wearing light-colored clothing, drinking plenty of water and avoiding strenuous activity are just a few ways to stay safe from the heat.

Spending long periods of time out in the heat without taking the proper precautions may lead to dehydration, heat exhaustion or even heat stroke.

While temperatures will climb to near or above the 100-degree mark, several other factors can make it feel even hotter.

High humidity, blazing sunshine and other components of the weather will make AccuWeather.com RealFeel® climb as high as 110 degrees in some areas.

This extreme heat has already caused disruptions across the Plains and Midwest for many and will continue to do so through the week.

With the last week of August being the first week back at school for many students, school districts have been forced to take action.

To help kids avoid the intense heat, some schools have ended the school day early, well before the extreme afternoon heat; while others have canceled school all together.

High school sports teams have also been forced to take action, canceling practices for the safety of the players.

While some may find the heat unwelcome, others are finding it to be providing favorable conditions for some late-season swimming.

This heat wave is expected to last though the week across the Midwest and the Plains with highs in the upper 90s and lower 100s each day.

With temperatures running as much as 20 degrees above average, many daily record temperatures will be challenged.

These temperatures will also carry into the beginning of the Labor Day weekend, but will slowly ease as the weekend progresses.