KANSAS CITY, Mo. - At least 36 deaths this summer in the state of Missouri are either suspected or confirmed to be heat-related.
The latest were reported Wednesday, two in Jackson County by the Kansas City Health Department , and four in the St. Louis area, reported by local health officials.
The latest Kansas City deaths are those of a man born in 1956 and a woman born in 1960, the Kansas City Health Department said in a news release. The department does not release any additional details about victims of suspected heat-related deaths until investigations by the Jackson County Medical Examiner are completed.
The medical examiner on Thursday confirmed one death , that of 1-year-old Heath Hubbard in May, was heat-related and is still investigating four other suspected heat-related deaths in Jackson County.
In St. Louis, officials say heat has played a role in at least 16 deaths on the Missouri side of the state line, with two more area deaths reported on the Illinois side.
The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services says 13 heat-related death have been reported in the central part of the state.
Dozens of more people across the United States have died because of heat this summer, though nationwide numbers are difficult to tally because of delays in reporting and variations in the states' standards.
Highs in Kansas City the last few days have ranged from the upper 80s to the mid-90s. It’s been a much-needed break from triple-digit highs seen in most of Missouri for a nearly-two-week period.
The extraordinary heat that blanketed much of the Midwest and parts of the East Coast has actually moved west, with excessive heat warnings or advisories posted in Arizona and California.
Wednesday's National Weather Service forecast called for highs of 125 in Death Valley, Calif. It was a much milder forecast in Phoenix, with the high only expected to top out at about 109.
41 Action News Meteorologist Brett Anthony says Kansas City from the high heat won’t last long, with 100-degree highs expected to return by the end of the weekend and last at least through the majority of next week.
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