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Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Southern states feel the heat, face thunderstorms (Reuters)

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla (Reuters) – Hotter than normal temperatures in several Southern states on Sunday have meteorologists warning residents to take special precautions before going outside.

Heat advisories are in effect for western Tennessee down through Mississippi and Louisiana, with heat index values expected to reach 105 degrees in some places, according to the National Weather Service.

"It typically doesn't get this hot this quickly," said National Weather Service meteorologist John Cohen in Nashville.

"Normally you get into July and August before you'll have a time period where you have temperatures well into the 90s like we're having day after day after day."

There is also a heat advisory for the St. Louis, Missouri area, which remains in effect until Wednesday night.

The high heat and humidity is likely to result in violent thunderstorms on Sunday from Des Moines, Iowa to Raleigh, North Carolina, according to

The storms could produce damaging winds, hail and frequent lightning, but the risk of tornadoes is low, said.

Other cities at risk for severe weather include Springfield, Illinois; Evansville, Indiana; Bowling Green, Kentucky; Knoxville, Tennessee; Charlotte, North Carolina; and Greenville and Florence in South Carolina.

To cope with the heat, weather experts advised residents to drink plenty of fluids, stay out of the sun when possible, reschedule strenuous activities for the early morning and evening and wear lightweight, loose-fitting clothing.

(Reporting by Colleen Jenkins; Editing by Jerry Norton)

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