Heat sets record, forces local high school to close early on Thursday and Friday

Aug 31, 2011

The sweltering summer temperatures that have resulted in a heat advisory for the St. Louis Public Radio listening area have set a record.

National Weather Service data say the record temperature for August 31 in St. Louis is 100 degrees, set back in 1953. The temperature at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport had reached 102 degrees around 4:05 pm.

The excessive heat is also forcing the St. Louis Public Schools to close the Gateway Institute of Technology at 11:15 am on both Thursday and Friday. The high school, which houses the most students and is the biggest at 470,791 sq. ft.,does not have central air conditioning, and district spokesman Patrick Wallace says less than 50 percent of the rooms have window units.

Wallace says six other elementary schools do not have central air either, but have small enough student bodies that all classes can find air-conditioned areas to work.

Temperatures are forecast to be above 90 until Saturday, when a chance of storms will cool things down. The forecast high on Sunday is 82 degrees, with lows in the 50s on Saturday night.