Dangerously hot and humid weather this week may have some truckers dreaming of cool breezes and snow-capped mountains.

One region of the country will be baking in triple-digit heat for a few days, while another will have to deal with humidity pushing the heat index past 100 degrees.

The heartland

Portions of the Plains and Mississippi Valley are where drivers will find temperatures in the 90s, which doesn’t sound out of the ordinary for August. However, paired with oppressive humidity levels, temperatures will feel like 105 to 110 degrees in many places Monday and Tuesday. However, the high humidity could last until Wednesday and even Thursday in some areas.

Because of this, the National Weather Service has issued heat advisories for portions of 11 states. These alerts include Dallas and Corpus Christi, Texas; Oklahoma City; Wichita and Topka, Kansas; Omaha and Lincoln, Nebraska; southern Iowa; all of Missouri; western and southern Illinois; Paducah, Kentucky; Memphis and Jackson, Tennessee; Tupelo and Vicksburg, Mississippi; as well as Shreveport and Monroe, Louisiana.

An excessive heat warning is in effect for the Tulsa, Oklahoma, area, where the heat index could exceed 100 degrees.

Pacific Northwest

The Northwest is where drivers will find actual temperatures soaring past 100 degrees from Spokane, Washington, to Portland, Pendleton and Medford, Oregon. Highs in the 90s will spread across Seattle and higher elevations of far northern California. The NWS has excessive heat watches posted in all of these areas.

The heat won’t be as prolonged or intense as the weeklong heat wave that hit the region in late June, when all-time record highs were set in several cities. However, highs will be well above average and possibly in daily record territory Wednesday through Saturday.

Other notable weather this week

More than 100 large wildfires are currently burning across the country. As of Sunday, they had scorched more than 2 million acres of land in 15 states, 12 of them in the West. Nearly 24,000 firefighters and support personnel continue to work toward containing these fires, but recent weather conditions have made this difficult.

Even though the winds won’t be as much of an issue, at least for the first couple of days of the week, they will still spread smoke into many areas. The NWS has air quality alerts in place for much of Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado, the northern half of New Mexico and the San Joaquin Valley in California.

Click here for more FreightWaves articles by Nick Austin.

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