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Storms, Heat A Central U.S. Labor Day Weekend Staple

UPDATED 4 PM CDT, September 1, 2013

UPDATED By WeatherBug Meteorologist, Chad Merrill

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Powerful thunderstorms and intense heat will again be the main weather staples of Labor Day weekend from the southern Plains into the Mississippi and Ohio valleys. Not only will destructive winds be on the weather menu today, but a few records could be challenged as well.

The same cold front responsible for Saturday`s stormy start to the long holiday weekend across part of the Upper Midwest and Ohio Valley will whip the atmosphere into a frenzy this afternoon and evening across eastern Missouri, much of Illinois, and far western Indiana. Ahead of the cold front, extremely hot and moisture-rich Gulf of Mexico air will clash with much drier, cooler Canadian air pouring through the Upper Midwest and Great Lakes.

Ultimately, the outcome will end up with thunderstorms posing a damaging wind threat for cities such as St. Louis, Peoria, Springfield and Decatur, Ill., and Terre Haute, Ind. A few large hail reports will be possible as well.

As if the severe weather isn`t enough, residents from the southern Plains to the Ohio Valley had to contend with one last hurrah of dangerous heat today. A massive and intense heat ridge was strong enough to send the mercury skyrocketing into the 90s and triple-digits this afternoon.

During times of extreme heat, check on those most vulnerable to these extremely hot temperatures, including the young, elderly, and pets. Wear light-weight and loose-fitted clothing, and drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.

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