LINCOLN, Neb. — An unusual, late-summer heat wave has enveloped much of the Midwest, putting schools and sports events on hold.
Schools in Iowa, Nebraska, Wisconsin, the Dakotas and Illinois let out early on Monday as temperatures crept toward the mid-90s — beyond in some places. After-school sports practices and evening games were canceled in St. Paul, Minn., and misting stations were keeping people cool at the Minnesota State Fair, where about 90 fairgoers had been treated for heat-related illnesses over the weekend.
The heat wave is supposed to last through much of the week, the National Weather Service said. Heat of this magnitude is unusual for this time of year, but not unprecedented. In Des Moines, Iowa, for instance, temperatures on Aug. 26 have reached at least 100 degrees at least six times since 1881.
School districts took precautions, not wanting to put students and teachers in sweaty — and possibly dangerous — situations.
Five elementary schools in Fargo, North Dakota, canceled classes through Wednesday because the buildings weren’t fully air-conditioned. Temperatures inside them on Sunday ranged from 85 degrees to 90 degrees, Fargo Schools Superintendent Jeff Schatz said.