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      Mercury in Midlands climbs into dangerous territory

      Kids cooling down at splash pad in Columbia.

      COLUMBIA (WACH) -- Some of the hottest weather of the summer has settled into South Carolina.

      Columbia saw a high of 101 on Tuesday and will see a high around 100 today.

      It`s not so much the highs reaching triple digits as it is the humidity. When you factor in the humidity it will feel like it`s between 105-115 across the Midlands.

      And with that heat comes the chance for severe thunderstorms.

      SkyWACH Weather Anchor Justin Kier says the Midlands is looking at a double threat for Wednesday.

      "Everyone living in the Midlands will have to endure dangerous heat and humidity," he says. However, there is also the threat of severe thunderstorms capable of producing winds over 60 mph and quarter sized hail." "Anytime you've got heat and humidity in the copious amounts that we currently do, we're bound to see storms if you add any sort of front or disturbance to the area. That's what we've got."

      Storms have already popped up on the radar bringing thunderstorm warnings with them. "The storms we've already seen are packing a lot of lightning. Lightning is a killer. It's important to remember that a storm doesn't have to be severe to be deadly."

      But storms aren't the only activity prompting officials to issue weather alerts. The heat and humidity has prompted the National Weather Service to issue an Excessive Heat Warning for most of the Midlands from 11 a.m. until 9 p.m. tonight, with the worst conditions between 2 p.m. and 6 p.m.

      The warning is in effect in Aiken, Bamberg, Barnwell, Beaufort, Berkeley, Calhoun, Clarendon, Charleston, Colleton, Dorchester, Jasper, Kershaw, Lee, Lexington, Orangeburg, Richland and Sumter counties.

      Related Stories... Hidden costs of the heat Staying safe in the extreme heat Coroner: Columbia infant left in car died from the heat

      Fairfield, Newberry and Saluda counties are under a Heat Advisory from 11 a.m. until 9 p.m. tonight. Temperatures are expected to reach between 95 and 100 degrees with a heat index between 105 and 109 degrees.

      Ways you can stay safe during this dangerous heat are by wearing light colored, loose fitting clothes, drinking plenty water to stay hydrated, and taking frequent breaks if you have to be outside for long periods of time. Also, please remember to check on the elderly and pets during this extreme heat when heat exhaustion or stroke can easily strike.

      Columbia Fire Chief Aubrey Jenkins says if you notice any of the following signs, give the person plenty of cool fluids and wipe them down with cool cloths. If they don TMt improve rapidly call 911.

      Signs of Heat Exhaustion:-Clammy skin-Loss of color in skin-Sweating-A tired, overestimated look on someone TMs face-Dry mouth-Headache Signs of Heat Stroke:-High body temperatures " (over 103 degrees F)-Confusion-Poor breathing " if you can TMt hear a person breathing it can indicate a problem-Seizures-The person has stopped sweating-Weak pulse-Hot dry skin to the touch-Fainting or total loss of consciousness

      Columbia officials also remind residents that cooling stations across the city are open from 10 to 6 p.m. at the following locations:

      Gable Oaks Apartments Rosewood Park Hyatt Park Greenview Park Lorick Park Drew Wellness splash pad Sims Park Emily Douglas Hampton Park Heathwood Park Finlay Park Riverfront Park Edisto Discovery Park

      The stations offer a quick way to cool down and will remain open during heat warnings from the National Weather Service.

      Rely on our weather page for the latest forecasts and find out when we'll see relief.