Dangerous Heat Grips Wide Stretch Of the South and Midwest

Workers line up for cold fresh fruit drinks on a hot day at a Farmers Market. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel/File)

Forecasters are warning of scorching heat across a wide stretch of the U.S. South and Midwest, where the heat index will feel as high as 117 degrees in some spots.

Parts of 13 states on Monday were under heat advisories, from Texas, Louisiana and Florida in the South to Missouri and Illinois in the Midwest, the National Weather Service reported.

Some of the most oppressive conditions Monday were being felt in Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi and Oklahoma, forecasters said.

Heat exhaustion and heat stroke are among the main threats in those areas.

“You are more likely to develop a heat illness quicker in this type of weather, when it’s really humid and hot,” said Gary Chatelain, a National Weather Service meteorologist based in Shreveport, Louisiana.

Stifling humidity is hanging in the Louisiana air partly because the area has seen such a wet summer, Chatelain said.

More of the same is in store for Tuesday, when heat and humidity will again make for dangerous heat indexes. However, an approaching cool front should help ease the intense heat by Wednesday, Chatelain said.

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