Temperatures in Paducah may not reach triple digits over the weekend, but it's going to be a hot, sticky one.
According to National Weather Service meteorologist Kevin Smith, the high today will reach 96, and the heat index - a combination of temperature and humidity - will make it feel like 104.
Going into the weekend, highs will stay in the mid to upper 90s with lows in the mid 70s, but it will be the humidity that will be hard to swallow.
"With 40 to 50 percent humidity, the afternoon and evening hours will seem oppressive," he said.
"Most of the summer we've had normal or cooler-than-normal conditions. Because this is the first heat wave of the summer, people aren't going to be accustomed to it." A weather service heat advisory remains in effect until 7 p.m. Tuesday.
"Our heat advisories help decision-makers to shorten practices for football or make other arrangements for outside activities," Smith said.
But with the Du Quoin State Fair in southern Illinois opening today, some might brave the heat regardless, he said. Smith cautioned the very young, the very old, and those with health conditions or sensitivity to heat to take extra measures to stay hydrated.
The predicted heat index is 104 Friday, 103 Saturday, and 106 on Sunday and Monday, Smith said.
The meteorologist said high temperatures are not expected to drop into the 80s until the latter half of next week.
Contact Carrie Dillard, a Paducah Sun staff writer, at 270-575-8657.