Those hoping for a break from the oppressive hot temperatures today will have to hold out hope just a little longer, forecasters say.

High temperatures in Aiken today are expected to reach between 97 and 99 degrees, according to Tenia Morrison, a forecaster for the National Weather Service in Columbia. The heat index is expected to be about 105 degrees.

The heat index is measured by the air temperature and relative humidity to determine the human-perceived equivalent temperature – or, basically, how hot it actually feels.

“We’ve got high pressure in the area, and that’s creating sinking air. As the air sinks, it compresses and warms,” Morrison said. “There’s a back-door cold front coming down from the north (Saturday) afternoon and evening. We’re looking for cooler temperatures by Sunday.”

Morrison said there’s a 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms today.

Highs on Sunday are expected to reach the low 90s.

Experts urge anyone who must be outdoors today to stay in the shade as much as possible, drink plenty of water and wear light-colored and light-fitting clothing.

Teddy Kulmala covers the crime and courts beat for the Aiken Standard and has been with the newspaper since August 2012.