Mid-July heat is expected to step up a notch today and stick around.

The National Weather Service has posted a heat advisory starting at 1 p.m. today and running through 8 p.m. Friday – and said it could be extended into the weekend if the forecast doesn’t change. Also, an ozone alert is in effect today for the second day in a row.

Officials remind people to drink plenty of fluids, stay out of the sun and do outdoor work early in the morning – or delay it if you can. Spend at least some time in an air-conditioned space if you can.

The Weather Service forecast for Eastern Jackson County is straightforward: highs of 95 or 96 every day through Sunday, overnight lows in the mid-70s and not a drop of rain. The relative humidity will make those mid-90s readings feel as high as 105 at times, and that’s what triggers the advisory. Heat illnesses such as heat exhaustion and heat stroke are more likely, especially among the young and the elderly.

The concern about ground-level ozone also is a reason to put off such things as mowing, as mowers and other gas-powered lawn equipment spew a good deal of pollution that contributes to the problem. Carpooling cuts down on emissions, and the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority reduces bus fares on ozone-alert days. Fueling your vehicle after dark also helps, because the vapors will mix with sunlight to create ozone.

Ozone poses health risks, especially among the very young and those with conditions such as asthma and heart disease. Limiting strenuous outdoor physical activity is suggested.