Robbie Porter, with Envision Contractors in Owensboro, wipes his brow while working on maintenance to a gas line on South Third Street in Paducah on Monday.
Meteorologists with the National Weather Service, Paducah, extended Monday’s excessive heat warning.
The warning, that was supposed to end at 12:01 this morning, now spans to 9 tonight. David Blanchard, NWS meteorologist, said a high pressure system is responsible for the persistent high temperatures and humidity. Tuesday’s conditions meet the criteria for the excessive heat warning with a heat index that will hover around 110, according to Blanchard.
“It’s going to take a while for a cold front to come in later tomorrow,” he said. “Until then, what you see is what you feel. It’s going to be unbelievably hot.”
Blanchard said the Tuesday night front is cold only by definition. It won’t lower temperatures by much. Monday’s humidity reached 50 percent. The hotter the air, the higher its capacity to retain water, he said. Wednesday and Thursday have the highest chance for any relief with heat index values climbing back up into the weekend.
Those who work outside are the most vulnerable to heat exhaustion and heat stroke, Blanchard said. He advised road crews, roofers and other outdoor laborers to take frequent breaks and continue hydration.
“High humidity and heat are not unprecedented,” he said. “They do happen around here once in a while, and all you can do is try to stay cool and don’t go outside.”
As of Monday afternoon, Lourdes hospital staff said two patients came in for heat-related issues. Angie Kinsey, Western Baptist Hospital spokeswoman, reported only one case of heat-related illness. Paducah police and McCracken County Sheriff’s department reported no heat-related incidents.
Heidi Suhreinrich, Paducah Cooperative Ministries executive director, said as of Monday afternoon, she didn’t know of any cooling shelters in the area. She said there are fans available for McCracken County residents in need at their office at 402 Legion Drive. Suhreinrich said fans are available every other year to those residents who demonstrate need. If someone got a fan last year, they are not eligible this year.