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The heat is on; Temperatures expected to climb with heat index topping out at near 100

It’s getting a little warm and it’s about to get warmer.

In what could be the hottest stretch of the year so far, temperatures are expected to bust into the 90s, complete with a thick amount of humidity.

The combination of these things will spike heat indices Thursday through Saturday to between 90 and 105 degrees.

Today’s high is forecast to be 89 degrees, with temperatures creeping into the 90s after that. The week’s hottest day is forecast to be Friday with a high of 93 degrees.

While the heat is expected to climb, it’s not out of the ordinary for this time of year according to Logan Lee, meteorologist for the National Weather Service in LaCrosse, Wisconsin.

“This week, climatically, is when we traditionally see the warmest temps of the year,” he said. “It looks like heat and humidity will be sticking around into Saturday or Sunday.”

Aside from the heat, thunderstorms are likely over the Wednesday night hours, but will give way to sun the rest of the week.

That’s an area where this part of the state is not normal. Rochester is currently setting the pace for southeast Minnesota with 32.55 inches of precipitation this year, thanks in large part to the spring rains and of course, this year’s winter.

That total is nearly twice the average through this part of the year, which is around 17.34 inches, Lee said.

To date, the Austin area has received 23.09 inches of precipitation.

Whether this stretch of heat will continue through the long term is unknown, particularly the next month or so.

“Looking at some of the longer term forecasts, we have equal chances for most of our area in southeast Minnesota for the next month (for heat),” Lee said. “And we have a chance for above normal precipitation in the next month.”

In the meantime, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advise people keep these tips in mind when dealing with extreme heat:

•Wear Appropriate Clothing: Choose lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing.

•Stay Cool Indoors: Stay in an air-conditioned place as much as possible. If your home does not have air conditioning, go to the shopping mall or public library.

•Schedule Outdoor Activities Carefully: Try to limit your outdoor activity to when it’s coolest, like morning and evening hours. Rest often in shady areas so that your body has a chance to recover.

•Pace Yourself: Cut down on exercise during the heat.

•Wear Sunscreen: Sunburn affects your body’s ability to cool down and can make you dehydrated. If you must go outdoors, protect yourself from the sun by wearing a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses, and by putting on sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher 30 minutes prior to going out.

•Do Not Leave Children in Cars: Cars can quickly heat up to dangerous temperatures, even with a window cracked open.

•Avoid Hot and Heavy Meals: They add heat to your body.

•Stay Hydrated: Drink more fluids, stay away from very sugary or alcoholic drinks, replace salt and minerals and keep pets hydrated.