August 5th, 2010
10:43 AM ET

Holy heat! 19 states baking under heat advisories

Intense heat continued to suffocate the South and other parts of the U.S. on Thursday, where 19 states are under heat advisories - and seven of those also are under excessive heat warnings.

The advisories stretch from Texas to New York City. The heat index, which is what the body perceives the temperature to be, is expected to reach 115° F again Thursday in some locations, with actual temperatures soaring into the triple digits.

A combination of sweltering temperatures and high humidity could cause heat-related illnesses, the National Weather Service said.

National Weather Service: Check advisories in your area

Record high temperatures from Wednesday include:

- Hot Springs, Arkansas: 108 degrees

- Pine Bluff, Arkansas: 107 degrees

- Greenwood, Mississippi: 104 degrees

- Memphis, Tennessee: 104 degrees

The Northeast will have a brief episode of heat Thursday, when some areas could see temperatures 10 degrees above the average for this time of year, but highs are expected to drop back into the upper 80s for the weekend. The extreme heat and humidity could stick around this weekend in the South, however.

iReport: How hot is it it where you live?

The number of suspected heat-related deaths reported by health officials across the South and Midwest in the past week reached at least nine Wednesday as temperatures continued to hit triple digits. Those at greater risk include infants and young children, people 65 or older, and those who are already ill, especially with heart disease or high blood pressure.

The Chart: Is it too hot for your health?

The health department of Kansas City, Missouri, said Wednesday that the Jackson County medical examiner was investigating the city's fourth suspected heat-related death since Friday. CNN affiliate KSHB reported that a Wichita man died Monday while attending the Van's Warped Tour concert at Sandstone Ampitheater. Authorities haven't said how 26-year-old Curtis A. DeForest died.

KSHB: Tips to cool your house

In Tennessee, Shelby County Medical Examiner Karen E. Chancellor said a 77-year-old man was found dead Tuesday evening in his Memphis home. His death was from natural causes, but heat was a contributing factor. In Bartlett, Tennessee, CNN affiliate WMC reported that a 66-year-old man collapsed in his yard Friday while mowing the lawn. He died from chronic illnesses, but heat exposure was ruled to be a contributing factor.

WMC reported that Memphis has also opened four cooling centers to help people avoid the dangerous heat.

"We're doing it all over the city, going door-to-door to make sure people are aware of resources and that they don't have to be hot," Alvin Benson, director of Fire Services for the city of Memphis, told WMC. "There are cooling centers in the city, and there is air conditioning available."

In Mississippi, a 48-year-old Gulfport man died of heat exposure Monday, according to the county coroner.

The man was working on road construction and "had cramped in the upper extremities," said Jackson County, Mississippi, Coroner Vicki Broadus. "It was his first day on the job as a concrete smoother."

And an 81-year-old Monroe County, Mississippi, woman also died of heat stroke on Saturday, said county Coroner Alan Gurley.

The Alabama Department of Health said one man died of heat exposure last week. No other information was available.

The record heat also contributed to the death of a dog after an Austin man left his pet in his car while he shopped in an electronics store, CNN affiliate KXAN in Austin, Texas, reported. Christopher Richard Schmitt, 25, was charged with cruelty to a nonlivestock animal, a state felony punishable by up to two years in jail, for the death of his 2-year-old Weimaraner.

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Filed under: U.S. • Weather
soundoff (208 Responses)
  1. Tonysgirl

    Dear Debra, You must've visited the middle of the desert. Although PHOENIX IS DESERT...of course it's not going to look like paradise! But that's okay that you didn't like it here. We don't WANT people here, that don't like it.
    Also, to the people that think that guy shouldn't do time for KILLING his dog...it was not an accident. This happens all the time in Phoenix. With children AND animals. PEOPLE NEED TO QUIT TAKING THEIR ANIMALS SHOPPING WITH THEM! And to the parents who leave children in the car...they should do LIFE in prison! It's all over the news every single day, and these people never learn! 2 years is just enough for killing that poor animal.

    August 5, 2010 at 3:09 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Gilles2010

    I am sure Obama has something to do with this Heat...Plus he's was not even born in the US.

    August 5, 2010 at 3:22 pm | Report abuse |
  3. LRoy

    According to CNN weather, it's 89 but feels like 96. When it gets over 90, my cats get very wet. No, they don't like it (scratching, hissing, fur flying all over the place), but too bad...they need to be cooled off even with the air conditioner.

    Me too! I find a hot bath cools me off more than a cool bath. Even with the air conditioner.

    August 5, 2010 at 4:10 pm | Report abuse |
  4. The Mooseter

    I wonder if it's so hot because God is angry now that the gays can marry in California?

    August 5, 2010 at 4:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • legend

      and you are a putz

      August 5, 2010 at 4:36 pm | Report abuse |
  5. LRoy

    One of the best things to eat on really hot days is Apple Jacks!

    August 5, 2010 at 4:25 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Randy

    You guys should live in NC. Hot and humid as Haiti! Try 75% humidity!

    August 5, 2010 at 4:30 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Chris

    It should be reported that not everywhere is experiencing Summer heat. Im in the desert (THE DESERT) and our high is only 91 today. and mid-80's for the next 5 days. But I guess Al Gore wont tell you that. Get all the facts!

    August 5, 2010 at 4:31 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Joe in TN

    104 with a heat index of...melting. Going out is like opening the oven and checking the biscuits. Go from the house to outside and my glasses fog.
    For my fundamentalist neighbors....God is obviously punishing us. End of days is at hand, the sky is falling, gay marriage is ok now, a black democrat in the oval office, another woman on the court........
    OR...
    How bout...IT'S SUMMER. IT IS HOT DURING THE SUMMER.

    August 5, 2010 at 4:35 pm | Report abuse |
  9. legend

    thankgod i'm out of the east coast and loving sunny breezy california =]

    August 5, 2010 at 4:36 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Hopeyoufry

    Really people?? Let a dog cook in a hot car, and get a mere slap on the wrists? Are you kidding me? Being an idiot and neglectful SHOULD be a serious offense and jail time is a cake walk compared to how that poor dog suffered. People's lack of compassion is literally sickening, no wonder no one has any regard for human or animal life. It's just a dog? It's a living thing that feels pain AND emotion! Just because it supposedly is not "as valuable" as a human life is no excuse to let it suffer! Heatstroke is a excruciating way to die, as the animal literally cooks. Even if they do live, many dogs with severe heatstroke will suffer permanent brain damage. It's really not pleasant to have a dog on your table that is seizing and excreting literally bloody pieces of its intestines from the damage of the heat.I really can't wrap my mind around someone being so heartless and cold to not give a damn about an animal suffering. And no, actually I am not a member of PETA or a vegetarian, and I do love me a good cheeseburger. But a cow is not a domestic animal; I don't know how any one can take for granted the excitement a dog shows just because you came home, or take advantage of an animal that will love you not matter what you do or say to it. People who can't take care of animals or harm them probably shouldn't be allowed to have children either. as I can't imagine how nurturing someone can be with such a complete disregard for a living thing.

    August 5, 2010 at 4:39 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Anonymous

    isn't somebody going to say something clever about global warming being a hoax? The same way they do when we get an unusual cold snap during the winter?

    August 5, 2010 at 5:06 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Marine Vet

    He should be lined up and shot for killing the dog. People have this high opinion of themselves. You are just like any other living creature on earth like it or not. If it was a baby God forbid.

    August 5, 2010 at 5:17 pm | Report abuse |
  13. bullpsych

    Amazingly, this story states that several human beings died including many elderly persons. May the souls of those not able to help themselves be comforted. The elderly are discarded by their families and society and the cute animal steals the show. Welcome to America.

    August 5, 2010 at 5:24 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Axe Barer

    Seems like the states with high heat warnings have the higher numbers of old and fat people. In some case both are the same.

    August 5, 2010 at 5:31 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Rev. Daniel W. Blair

    The oil spills, hurricanes, floods, and the global heat wave (which have been the cause of many fires) have many searching for answers. The internet is buzzing with articles and excellent blogs. But could it be simply the biblical sequence of God's wrath being poured out upon the earth which is relevant to current events in today's world. What if we are dealing with the wrath of God? Please understand the wrath of God is letting man slip deeper and deeper into the consequences of his own sin. Please visit my website. Rev. Daniel W. Blair author of the book Final Warning

    August 5, 2010 at 5:34 pm | Report abuse |
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