It's expected to be almost as hot today as it was Monday, when it reached 105 at Kansas City International, just shy of the record, 106, set in 1934.

The National Weather Service predicts a high of 104 today at KCI (well shy of the record 110, also in 1934), followed by 101 Wednesday (the record is 108 in 1936).

Then the forecast calls for a break: a 40 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms Wednesday night and a 50 percent chance Thursday, with a high of 90.

In the meantime, the area remains under an excessive heat warning until 7 p.m. Wednesday. The heat index today and Wednesday could hit 103 to 108, so officials caution residents to remember that's high enough to cause heat-related illnesses, including heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Drink plenty of water, stay indoors – in an air-conditioned space – when you can, check on friends and neighbors, and make sure outdoor pet have shade and plenty of fresh water.

Vesper Hall on Vesper Street in Blue Springs, the Salvation Army Crossroads Shelter on Truman Road in Independence, the Palmer Center just west of the Independence Square and the Sermon Center at Truman and Noland are all open as cooling centers during this heat wave.

National Weather Service, Pleasant Hill: www.weather.gov/kc