The central United States is facing a stretch of dangerous conditions over the coming week as multiple days of triple-digit heat unfolds.
While heat from the southern Plains will expand northward early in the week, the second half of the week will yield the hottest weather so far this summer to the entire central U.S.
"A strong area of high pressure will settle over the Plains and cause many locations to have sizzling temperatures during the Wednesday through Sunday timeframe," AccuWeather Meteorologist Rob Richards said.
"Places like Oklahoma City; Wichita, Kansas; and Omaha, Nebraska, will be about 10-15 degrees above average," he said.
Rapid City and Pierre, South Dakota; Des Moines, Iowa; Kansas City, Missouri; Little Rock, Arkansas; Pueblo, Colorado; Dallas and Lubbock, Texas; and Shreveport, Louisiana, will also endure two or more 100-degree days.
Some communities could pass new record highs.
The triple-digit heat will also expand its grip eastward to St. Louis and Memphis, Tennessee.
Denver may fall short of cracking the century mark, but will still endure multiple days of highs in the middle to upper 90s. Baseball fans planning to watch the Colorado Rockies host the Tampa Bay Rays on Wednesday afternoon should prepare for hot conditions.
While the triple-digit heat alone will create hazards for residents, high humidity will contribute to dangerously higher AccuWeather RealFeel® temperatures.
The greatest potential for RealFeel® temperatures to exceed 110 F will be along the I-35 corridor of the central and southern Plains. Where a breeze fails to develop, RealFeel® temperatures may approach or reach 120 F.
The best opportunity for a breeze will be from western Texas to Iowa and Minnesota.
"The RealFeel Temperature® factors in many weather variables [to determine how the temperature actually feels outside], when compared to the heat index, which takes into consideration only the temperature and humidity," AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski said.
Cooling thunderstorms will occasionally dot the central U.S., mainly across the northern states and the Mississippi Valley. However, most of the mid- to latter part of next week will be rain-free.
Residents and visitors throughout the central U.S. are urged to take the necessary precautions to avoid suffering from a heat-related illness or worse.
On average, 130 people perish each year in the U.S. due to heat-related issues, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
"More people die each year from heat than cold waves, lightning, tornadoes, hurricanes or floods," Sosnowski said.
Wear light-colored clothing and avoid strenuous activities during the midday and afternoon hours (the hottest times of the day). Never leave children or pets in a sealed vehicle even for a short time. Stay hydrated and find shade when possible if spending time outdoors.
If power grids do become strained and outages result, residents should seek shelter at local cooling stations or other public air-conditioned buildings.