The Ottumwa Courier

AP National

July 18, 2013

Relief from worst heat on the horizon by weekend

NEW YORK (AP) — Cooler temperatures are within sight but likely not soon enough and cool enough for a large swath South Dakota to Massachusetts hit with dangerously high temperatures for days.

The relief is expected to begin arriving Thursday in some regions of the country as a cold front drops south from Canada. But it is not soon enough for others. New York City, for instance, is bracing for another day of temperatures in the high 90s.

Cooler temperatures are likely to sweep through the Midwest and into the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions by Saturday. They might be accompanied by severe thunderstorms.

The largest heat wave of the summer has stagnated over large regions, bringing sizzling temperatures and little hope of relief without rain, a growing possibility for some hard-hit areas as the weekend approaches.

Most states in the U.S. had at least one region where the temperature hit 90 degrees Wednesday, according to the National Weather Service, though the worst heat was in the Midwest to Northeast. Humid air just made it all feel worse, with heat indexes in some places over 100.

It was hot enough to buckle highway pavement in several states. Firefighters in Indianapolis evacuated 300 people from a senior living community after a power outage knocked out the air conditioning. The state of Illinois opened cooling centers. The Environmental Protection Agency said the heat was contributing to air pollution in New England.

Officials are blaming hot weather for at least one death. A 78-year-old Alzheimer's patient died of heat exhaustion after wandering away from his northern Kentucky home Tuesday in temperatures that rose to 93 degrees.

In New York City, where it was 96 degrees, sidewalk food vendor Ahmad Qayumi said that by 11 a.m., the cramped space inside his steel-walled cart got so hot that he had to turn off his grill and coffee machine.

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