By Matt Peterson

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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The summer season officially begins on Thursday but Mother Nature is giving us an early dose of mid-summer heat to kick off the work week. The high heat and humidity started up on Sunday but will kick into high gear this afternoon as well as Tuesday, before we get a bit of a reprieve by the end of the week and the actual start to summer.

heat advisory Extreme Heat Sets Off Dangerous Conditions This Afternoon

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Monday will be the worst of the heat for the week as we should see temperatures this afternoon rocket up the thermometer and likely top out in the middle 90s. In Philly this afternoon, our forecast high is 96 degrees. If we are able to hit that number, we would tie the record for today set over 60 years ago in 1957.

temp comparison day Extreme Heat Sets Off Dangerous Conditions This Afternoon

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The other issue today is the high humidity. The dew points throughout the afternoon for much of the area are likely to push into the upper 60s to even near 70, which is more than oppressive. The high heat and humidity will allow for the heat index this afternoon to make it feel like we are into the triple digits in places. In Philly, we are forecasting a heat index of 102. This dangerous heat and humidity have prompted a heat advisory that will last through the day before expiring at 8 p.m. To compound the problems for this afternoon, there is also a Code Orange Air Quality Alert in place. A Code Orange Alert means that conditions throughout the afternoon will be unhealthy, especially for sensitive groups, such as those with respiratory illnesses, the young and the elderly. This alert is just for Monday.

air quality alert Extreme Heat Sets Off Dangerous Conditions This Afternoon

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When conditions become dangerous like they will this afternoon, we must always remember to take the proper precautions to stay safe, especially when you are outdoors. The best bet on days like today is to stay inside in the A/C as much as you can, however, that is not an option for everyone.

heat weather safety Extreme Heat Sets Off Dangerous Conditions This Afternoon

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If you must be outside today, make sure you are taking plenty of breaks and staying out of the direct sunlight as much as possible. Always remember to drink plenty of water and wear loose, light fitting clothes. On days like today it is also good to brush up on the differences between heat exhaustion and heat stroke, as both can set in quickly on these kinds of afternoons. We also cannot forget about our furry friends on these days. If it is hot for you, it is hot for them too.

heat pet safety Extreme Heat Sets Off Dangerous Conditions This Afternoon

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Besides the hot and steamy weather today, we are going to watch as a weak front tries to work through the region later this afternoon and into the evening and overnight hours as well. In general, any precipitation we see with the front is going to be very scattered, but a few isolated downpours or a rumble of thunder are not totally ruled out in the second half of the afternoon and then again through the overnight hours. The best chance to see the rain or thunder will stay north of the Philly area in the Poconos, but again, a risk for a shower or storm in the metro is not ruled out overnight tonight.

heat illness explainer Extreme Heat Sets Off Dangerous Conditions This Afternoon

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The rest of the work week is not look all that bad. The heat and humidity are back on Tuesday, but it should not be as oppressive as Monday. It is likely we get another afternoon in the 90s with humidity that will make it feel even hotter, but the good news is we should miss out on those triple digit heat index values on Tuesday afternoon. A small chance for a shower or rumble of thunder is once more in the forecast on Tuesday as well, but once again the chances are very spotty.

The middle of the week sees our temperatures dip into the 80s once again, but the summer muggies will stick around and so will the chances for rain showers in the later parts of the day on Wednesday.

By the time we reach the end of the week, high pressure should settle in and bring with it much more seasonable conditions for the official start to summer on Thursday, and even better weather for Friday. Expect plenty of sunshine both afternoons and temperatures should sit in the lower to middle 80s with humidity that is much more comfortable.

By the time we hit the coming weekend, though, a new system starts to work in and a couple spotty showers are possible either Saturday or Sunday with temperatures continuing to hover in the typical range for the second half of June.

Stay cool the next couple days!