Heat has killed more people in the last 10 years than any other kind of weather, according to the National Weather Service.
“Heat is the biggest weather related killer there is,” said Dick Elder, who has been with the NWS in Wichita for 35 years. “Don’ t take it lightly”
This July has been one of the hottest on record, and Elder said there is little relief in the short term.
“We still have August to go through,” Elder said.
The National Weather Service noted at least 33 heat-related deaths nationwide this year. The 10-year average is 115 per year. In 2010, there were 138 heat-related deaths, no other type of weather-related death even topped 100 in 2010.
According to the National Weather Service in Wichita, this has been the third-hottest July on record, with an average high of 101.8 for the moth, .5 degrees above normal. The hottest July  on record was 1980, when the average high was 104.9. for central Kansas.
So far this year there have been 30 days of 100 or higher temperatures in the Wichita area, 18 of those in July.
The National Weather Service of Wichita  has only recorded  four “extreme” July heat waves: 1980, 1954, 1936, 1934 since records have been kept from 1889 to present, however the current 2011 July is well on its way to be in the same category.  
A “heat dome” has developed over the region, meaning more triple digit weather is on the way.
“In 1980 it took a hurricane coming up from the gulf to break it up,” Elder said. “It looks like it might take something like that to break this up, and I don’t see anything on the horizon right now.”
A heat dome is like a big dome of very warm air that goes from the surface up to about15,00 feet above the earth.
“Weather systems come in, and they can’t break it down,” Elder said. “It builds on itself every day.”
The bad news is that the extended forecast shows a continuation of triple digit high temperatures through July 28th for Wichita which increases the odds of this July becoming an extreme heat wave.  And unfortunately, looking at the previous summer heat waves of: 1980, 1954, 1936, 1934, the heat waves for these summers all extended into August.