Temperatures in Lawrence have risen to 111 degrees — a mere three degrees below Lawrence's all-time high of 114 degrees. The mercury hit its apex at 2:52 p.m., on a day when the temperature was already 84 degrees shortly before 8 a.m.
However, because of the dry air — drier than what the region has had lately, anyway — temperatures outside felt like a brisk 110 degrees.
An excessive heat warning from the National Weather Service continues through Wednesday evening, and highs are expected to be between 95-110 degrees Wednesday.
The record heat has been blamed for a number of heat illnesses in the area. Kansas Department of Health and Environment spokeswoman Miranda Myrick said Tuesday that Kansas hospitals have reported more than 400 people have gone to their hospitals with heat-related illnesses such as heat exhaustion. KDHE also says that the heat has contributed to the deaths of 3 Kansans so far this summer. Belinda Rehmer, an Lawrence Memorial Hospital spokeswoman, said the hospital saw 31 patients in July because of heat-related issues, and six of them had to be admitted for observation.
The heat wave gripping Kansas also has taken a toll on animals.
The manager of a Great Bend operation that picks up dead cattle from feed yards and ranches says he may run seven days a week to keep up.
Lee Seder of Central Kansas Rendering says the company picked up 148 dead cattle Monday, up from the normal 60.