Authorities are trying to take care of the most vulnerable citizens as temperatures soar across Alabama.
Temperatures are predicted to reach 100 degrees and hotter across much of central and north Alabama on Thursday, and the National Weather Service says that's only the start of a heat wave that will last into the weekend.
In Birmingham, police say they're beginning ``Operation Welfare Check.'' Officers will check on elderly and sick people at the request of relatives and friends to see who needs help.
Elsewhere, health officials are warning people not to stay outdoors too long, and to stay hydrated if coming inside isn't possible.
While temperatures are predicted to be in the triple digits in north Alabama, highs in the upper 80s and 90s are predicted to the south.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)