* Chicago and Detroit among cities welcoming cooler air
* Rocky Mountain states will feel the heat on Monday
By Mary Wisniewski
CHICAGO, July 8 A blistering heat wave finally
showed signs of letting up across the U.S. Midwest and Northeast
on Sunday, bringing relief to millions after days of oppressive
temperatures - just as forecasters warned that a new round of
record highs could soon bake Western states.
"It's going to start as soon as tomorrow - really everybody
in the Rockies is going to see this heat," said Alan Reppert,
senior meteorologist for AccuWeather.com. He said a
high-pressure system developing over the Rockies will cause
temperatures of over 100 Fahrenheit (37.7 Celsius) in Salt Lake
City by Wednesday.
A slow-moving front of cool air from Canada started pushing
down temperatures Sunday from Minneapolis and Detroit to
Pittsburgh. The temperature in Chicago, which saw three
consecutive days of triple-digit temperatures in the past week,
was a pleasant 82F (25C) Sunday afternoon, according to the
National Weather Service.
New York City and Philadelphia still were hot Sunday,
although not as oppressive as in days past, with highs in the
Thunderstorms were expected Sunday afternoon from Maryland
on south, with storms in the area for most of the week. The
storms also will affect the central and southern Plains states,
The blistering heat wave that scorched much of the eastern
two-thirds of the nation with triple-digit temperatures has tied
or broken nearly 3,400 maximum and minimum temperature records
across the country in July, according to the National Oceanic
and Atmospheric Administration.
Dozens of people have died, including a 4-month-old Indiana
girl who police say was left in a car outside her home in
Greenfield, about 25 miles (40 kilometres) east of Indianapolis,
for an extended period of time when temperatures were above 100F
Lack of rainfall plus extreme heat is threatening the
Midwest's corn crop and leading to wildfires. The latest U.S.
Drought Monitor report, released Thursday, showed drought
encompassing more of the contiguous United States than at any
other time since the report began in January 2000.
"The problem for crops - especially the corn crop - has been
the heat and lack of rainfall. It is dry across much of the
Midwest and Plains and there is no relief in sight," Reppert
The decline in temperatures will be slower in the
mid-Atlantic because of the slow speed of the Canadian cold
front as it moves south, according to AccuWeather.com.
Power outages continue to plague more than 117,000
customers, primarily in West Virginia, some of whom have not had
power for more than a week and may not have their service
restored for a few more days.
American Electric Power said it had about 59,600
customers out in West Virginia and about 25,600 out in Ohio.
FirstEnergy Corp said it had about 32,200 customers out
in West Virginia.