Hot weather safety and the heat index...

Hot and humid conditions are normal during the summertime in our part of the country. However, even the most physically fit individuals are susceptible to heat-related illness when the heat index exceeds 105 degrees. The National Weather Service office in Paducah issues the following advisories and warnings during dangerous heat conditions:

  • Heat Advisory - issued when the heat index is forecast to reach or exceed 105 degrees.
  • Excessive Heat Warning - issued when the heat index is forecast to reach or exceed 110 degrees on at least two consecutive days.
  • The above products can be found under the NPW product header on our warnings page.
  • For those in poor health, without air conditioning, or simply working too hard in the heat, even 100 degree heat indices can be dangerous. Forecast heat indices from 100 to 105 degrees are headlined in the public zone forecast and mentioned in the Hazardous Weather Outlook.

The following links will provide you with more details:

Where you can find a forecast of the heat index for your location...

1. Forecast heat index maps for our region are available here. Look for "apparent temperature" and place your cursor over a forecast time.

2. The National Weather Service office in Paducah produces a forecast of the heat index at least twice a day. This forecast is available in graphical format on our interactive forecasts page. On this interactive page, change the selection in the drop-down menu from "7-day Text Forecast" to "Hourly Weather Graph" or "Digital/Tabular." Also, make sure the box marked "heat index" is checked before clicking on your location on the map graphic. 

3. In tabular format, the heat index forecast is available in our Point Forecast Matrices (PFM) and Area Forecast Matrices (AFM).  These forecast matrices are in a format that requires some interpretation. An explanation of how to read and interpret the PFM/AFM is available.

4. Current observed heat indices can be found in the hourly weather observations reported by state. Look for the "HX" remark at the end of each station's observation. The "HX" or heat index remark is only included if the heat index is at or above 90 degrees. Hourly roundup for KY / IL / IN / MO.

Recent deadly heat waves in the Paducah NWS Office forecast area...

In the 58 counties served by the Paducah National Weather Service office, there have been 10 heat fatalities since the summer of 1997.

  • 1997 - 32-year-old male died in Hardin County, IL on a construction job.
  • 1998 - 83-year-old male died in Williamson County, IL in his apartment with no A/C.
  • 1998 - 47-year-old male died in Daviess County, KY while mowing the lawn.
  • 1999 - 6 people died in the heat during the hot summer of 1999...including 4 in southern Illinois, one in southeast Missouri, and one in western Kentucky. All but one of the victims was a man. The ages of the victims ranged from 53 to 85. All died while working outdoors or staying in a house with no air conditioning.
  • 2000 - None reported.
  • 2001 - 74-year-old male died in Cape Girardeau, MO in his home with no air conditioning.
  • 2002 - None reported.
  • 2003 - None reported.
  • 2004 - None reported.
  • 2005 - Two fatalities at a closed-up home in Cape Girardeau, MO. is the U.S. government's official web portal to all federal, state and local government web resources and services.