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Heat wave continues to bake Wichita, much of Kansas

WICHITA - Today may be the first time this year that Wichita reaches 100 degrees, forecasters say. And if it doesn’t happen today, it will almost certainly hit the century mark Thursday and Friday.

The heat wave that is blamed for the deaths Tuesday of an elderly brother and sister in Kansas City shows no immediate signs of easing. An excessive heat warning issued by the National Weather Service remains in effect until 7 p.m. Thursday for 18 counties in central and eastern Kansas.

The warned area stretches from I-135 east, including Salina, Wellington and the Wichita metropolitan area. The heat index - a measure of how it feels outside - is expected to top 105 both days. Weather officials warn that extended exposure to the high temperatures and humidity will make heat illnesses likely.

Highs today in the Wichita area are expected to reach 99 to 100. Highs on Thursday, Friday and Saturday are projected to reach 102 or higher. Lows will bottom out in the mid-70s.