Midwest Heat Wave Prompts Early School Dismissals

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) -

An unusual, late-summer heat wave has enveloped much of the Midwest, putting schools and sports events on hold.

Schools in Iowa, Nebraska, Wisconsin, the Dakotas and Illinois let out early on Monday as temperatures crept toward the mid-90s – beyond in some places. After-school sports practices and evening games were canceled in St. Paul, Minn., and misting stations kept people cool at the Minnesota State Fair, where about 90 fairgoers had been treated for heat-related illnesses over the weekend.

The heat wave is supposed to last through much of the week, the National Weather Service said. Heat of this magnitude is unusual for this time of year, but not unprecedented. In Des Moines, Iowa, temperatures on Aug. 26 have reached 100 degrees at least six times since 1881. The weather service said South Dakota was experiencing its hottest final week of August on record.

School districts took precautions to avoid putting students and teachers in sweaty — and possibly dangerous — situations.