KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Temperatures are climbing to dangerous levels in several Midwestern and Southern states.
The National Weather Service has issued heat advisories for parts of Missouri, Kansas, Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Mississippi and Louisiana.
Thursday was expected to be the hottest day, with temperatures in the mid- to upper-90s. In the Kansas City area, the humidity will make it feel closer to 110 degrees. National Weather Service meteorologist Jonathan Welsh says "it will be a cooker."
Temperatures are expected to drop slightly into the lower 90s across the area over the weekend. Missouri and northeast Kansas will get some relief Tuesday, with temperatures expected in the upper 80s. Elsewhere, temperatures will remain in the 90s.
Cities where cooling centers are operating include the St. Louis suburb of Arnold and southwest Missouri's Joplin.
In St. Louis, CBS affiliate KMOV reports that forecasts are calling for highs in the 90s and high humidity over the next several days, increasing the risk of heat-related stress and illness. The St. Louis Health Department urges residents to limit or stop outdoor activity and try to stay in a cool environment.
Those with elderly relatives, neighbors or friends are urged to check on them and encourage them to use air conditioning.
Temperatures inside a closed car can be lethal in minutes, KMOV reported. Brick homes of St. Louis retain the heat and have been compared to giant ovens.
Pet owners are encouraged to take extra precautions, including keeping animals out of unattended vehicles. Animals should also have access to fresh water and shade.
CBS affiliate WAFB in Baton Rouge reports that chances of rain will hover around 20 percent or so from Wednesday through Friday, allowing highs to climb into the low to mid 90s.
Temperatures alone won't give the full story, though, as a humid air mass results in 'feels like' temperatures ranging from 100 degrees to 105 degrees-plus over the next several afternoons.