Excessive heat blanketing much of central U.S.

Reuters News
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Posted: Jul 11, 2011 10:43 AM

CHICAGO (Reuters) - Heat advisories were in effect in more than a dozen states on Monday, with temperatures expected to climb to potentially dangerous levels.

Thermometers will hover near the 100-degree mark in the central and southern plains and middle and lower Mississippi Valley, according to the National Weather Service.

In some places, heat index values will exceed 115 degrees.

Heat illnesses are possible in areas with hot temperatures and high humidity. Weather experts recommend drinking plenty of fluids, staying out of the sun and staying in an air-conditioned room.

In addition to facing excessive heat, Chicago and northeast Illinois are in a target area for severe weather on Monday, said Pat Slattery, a National Weather Service spokesman.

During thunderstorms Monday morning, 75 mph wind gusts were reported at Midway International Airport, said National Weather Service meteorologist Stephen Rodriguez.

Heavy rains are a concern for the area along the Missouri River, where there already is flooding. More rain could result in continued and prolonged flooding.

(Reporting by Colleen Jenkins and Karin Matz; Editing by Jerry Norton)