Gimme swelter: U.S. heat wave lingers, but relief on the way

Dylan Stableford
The Lookout

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The National Weather Service said a strong cold front will continue to drop southward throughout the day Sunday and Monday, bringing much-needed relief to Midwest, Atlantic and Northeast states blistered by a heat wave that's been blamed for at least 30 deaths and shattered more than 3,000 temperature records in July alone.

"The massive high pressure area responsible for the dangerous and relentless heat from the Midwest to the South will soon shift its position enough to allow a breath of fresh air to roll in from central Canada," said. "The core of the heat will settle farther west."

In Indiana, a 4-month-old girl died and a 16-month-old girl was hospitalized after both were found trapped in cars, as temperatures reached 105 degrees. According to CNN, the heat has been blamed for 10 deaths since Monday in Maryland alone.

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In Chicago, which transformed into an urban broiler with triple-digit temperatures earlier this week, a high of 82 degrees was forecast for Sunday--with dramatically lower humidity. Excessive heat warnings in the Windy City were, in turn, dropped.

Elsewhere, the heat is expected to go from "unbearable to merely very hot," the Associated Press said. In Atlantic City, which set a temperature record Saturday of 100 degrees, it was 79 on Sunday afternoon.

The slow-moving cold front is expected to be accompanied by thunderstorms like those that knocked out power to 70,000 in New Jersey on Saturday. More than 150,000 remain without power in West Virginia, the state hit hardest during last weekend's "derecho." More than 300,000 customers across 12 states are still without power, CNN said.

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In Washington, D.C., where it's been at least 95 degrees for a record nine straight days, a U.S. Airways flight got stuck in the tarmac at Reagan National airport Friday after "the intense heat of the day apparently softened the asphalt enough that the wheels sank into it." A high of 100 degrees with a dangerous heat index of 110 was forecast for Washington on Sunday before the expected cold front comes through.

The relief won't come for some until Monday. Triple-digit temperatures were forecast for Raleigh, N.C., and Richmond, Va., on Sunday.

According to the National Weather Service, Saturday's high of 107 in St. Louis broke the 103-degree record set in 1936. The forecast high for Monday in St. Louis: a comparatively chilly 89.