ATLANTA — Most of the South — from Texas to parts of South Carolina — will be under heat advisories and warnings as temperatures will feel as high as 117 degrees (47 Celsius), forecasters said.
The most intense heat Tuesday was expected in Mississippi, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Alabama; and in areas near Memphis, Tennessee.
The warnings come one day after the temperature and humidity combined for a Monday heat index of 121 degrees (49.4 Celsius) in Clarksdale, Mississippi. It was only a few degrees cooler in West Memphis, Arkansas.
In Alabama, the highest reported heat indexes Monday were 112 degrees (44.4 Celsius) in Florence, Tuscumbia and Gurley.
Forecasters say the heat index is what the temperature actually feels like.
Heat exhaustion and heat stroke are prime threats during heat waves, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
In Kansas, a 2-year-old boy died after he was found alone in a parked car in the afternoon heat Sunday. It appears heat played a role in the child’s death, Lawrence Police Chief Gregory Burns Jr. said in a statement Monday. It was about 88 degrees (31 Celsius) with a heat index of 96 (36 Celsius) in Lawrence at the time, National Weather Service said. The police investigation is continuing.
The heat alerts in place on Tuesday stretched as far east as the Upstate area of South Carolina.
In Spartanburg, South Carolina, the Carolina Panthers and Buffalo Bills are practicing together Tuesday and Wednesday before a preseason NFL game in Charlotte, North Carolina. Over the weekend, Panthers coach Ron Rivera had some fun with Bills coach Sean McDermott, sending a screenshot of the heat index in Spartanburg, South Carolina. It showed 110 degrees (43.3 Celsius) along with an orange emoji face dripping with sweat.
“A psychological game,” Rivera joked of the scorching heat that awaits McDermott and the Bills this week.
Reeves reported from Birmingham, Alabama. Associated Press Sports Writer Steve Reed in Spartanburg, South Carolina, contributed to this report.