Temperatures are expected to push historical records across northern Ohio Thursday as the Midwest heat wave continues.
The National Weather Service is forecasting a high of 100 degrees -- a mark that hasn't been reached in more than 16 years.
If the temperature does reach the triple-digit plateau, it also would be a new record for July 21. The current July 21 high of 99 degrees has stood since way back in 1930.
Making matters worse is the high humidity. Martin Mullen, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Cleveland, said the heat index measure could go as high as 115 degrees Thursday, well into the range for an excessive heat warning.
In response to the potentially dangerous heat, the Area Office on Aging of Northwestern Ohio Inc. is urging older adults and those who look after them to drink ample fluids (although caffeine and alcoholic beverages should be avoided because they accelerate the effects of heat exhaustion), avoid heavy meals, stay in cool places, and avoid physical exertion.
It also has extended some hours for emergency cooling centers across Toledo.
Mr. Mullen said the high temperatures are persisting because of a large dome of high pressure that is hovering over much of the Midwest.
"The heat is just trapped under that big bubble," he said.
The last time the official Toledo Express Airport temperature reached 100 degrees was July 15, 1995. The highest temperature since then was 98 degrees, recorded four times, most recently on July 2.
The highest temperature ever recorded in Toledo was a sweltering 105 degrees, set July 14, 1936. Though that record's not likely to fall, the highest overnight-low temperature could be in play. That record was set at 81 degrees on Aug. 21, 1916. The weather service is forecasting lows in the high 70s throughout the week.
The heat has prompted Wood Lane School in Bowling Green to close its day camp. Also, bus transportation for Wood Lane Industries workers will not be available. Spokesman Liz Sheets said buses are air-conditioned, but officials were concerned for clients' safety if there were mechanical problems.
Manor Elementary School in Monroe also canceled its summer school classes Thursday for its younger kids.
In Findlay, the United Way of Hancock County was offering free rides to the Agency on Aging for residents 55 and older who need to escape the heat. Seniors can receive free rides to the air-conditioned senior center through Hancock Area Transportation Services by calling 419-423-7261, Ext. 21, between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. on weekdays.
A Toledo Edison spokesman said the utility had not seen any heat-related outages Wednesday, and believes it has ample capacity to deal with the demands of customers' air conditioners.
Mr. Mullen said it's likely heat advisories will persist through Friday. The weather service forecast still has highs in the 90s through the weekend. He urged everyone to drink plenty of liquids and to try to schedule any outdoor activities earlier in the day.