An excessive heat warning is in place as temperatures reach dangerously high levels, and it's only going to get worse this afternoon.

StormTrack5 Meteorologist Brett Anthony said this is a classic heatwave producing weather pattern.

"A strong area of high pressure extending several thousand feet up into the atmosphere producing a dome of heat that stretches across much of the continental United States," Anthony said.

The most intense heat, with highs in the 100s, will be found from central Nebraska all the way into southern New Mexico and the panhandle of Texas. This pattern has prompted an excessive heat warning for Kansas City and surrounding counties.

This heat wave producing pattern has also prompted an even larger area of heat advisories across the central United States.

These heat warnings and advisories are in effect through Saturday evening.

On Thursday, Friday and Saturday, the heat index, or what it feels like with temperature and humidity combined, will make it dangerous to be outside for long periods of time each afternoon.

"So, bottom-line, slow down, drinks lots of water, take frequent breaks and wait for Sunday when the intense summer heat will break for a couple of days," Anthony said.

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