Heat loosens its grip on half of the US only slightly; temps in many cities still in the 90s | iNFOnews

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Heat loosens its grip on half of the US only slightly; temps in many cities still in the 90s

July 08, 2012 - 1:05 PM

PHILADELPHIA - Americans will be getting a slight break from the oppressive heat on Sunday, one day after temperatures rose to above 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38 degrees Celsius) from the central states to the mid-Atlantic. Yet for many, the cooler temperatures won't exactly be comfortable, falling only into the 90s F (low to mid 30s C).

Cooler air is sweeping southward in the eastern half of the country, bringing down some temperatures by 15 or more degrees from Saturday's highs, which topped 100 F (38 C) in cities including Philadelphia, Washington, St. Louis, Indianapolis and Louisville, Kentucky.

For many areas, the cooler temperatures were ushered in by thunderstorms that knocked out power to thousands.

In New Jersey, a line of strong, fast-moving storms knocked out power to nearly 70,000 on Saturday night.

The heat also is blamed for more than 30 deaths across the country. A 4-month-old girl died and a 16-month-old girl was hospitalized Saturday in separate incidents in suburban Indianapolis when both were found trapped in cars during near-record 105-degree F (40.5-degree C) heat.

Residents from Iowa to New Jersey spent the trying to stay cool. They dipped into the water, went to the movies and rode the subway just to be in air conditioning.

If people ventured outside to do anything, they did it early. But even then, the heat was stifling.

"It was baking on the 18th green," said golfer Zeb Rogerson, who teed off at 6 a.m. at an Alexandria, Virginia, golf course but was sweltering by the end of his round.

Micah Straight, 36, brought his three daughters to dance in jets of water spurting from a "sprayground" near Philadelphia's Logan Square fountain to cool off.

"We got here early, because I don't think we'll be out this afternoon — we'll be in the air conditioning," he said. "So I wanted to get them out, get some sunshine, get tired."

In South Bend, Indiana, serious kayakers took to the East Race Waterway, a 1,900-foot (579-meter) long manmade whitewater course near downtown.

"A lot of times I'll roll over just to cool off," said Robert Henry of Carmel, just north of Indianapolis. "The biggest challenge is walking coming back up carrying a kayak three-eighths of a mile in this heat."

In Manhattan, customers who stepped in to see "Jiro Dreams of Sushi" at an IFC movie theatre were there for more than entertainment.

"Of course we came to cool off!" said John Villanova, a writer who was on his second sweaty T-shirt of the day — expecting to change again by evening.

He said that earlier, he rode a Manhattan subway back and forth for a half an hour, with no destination in mind, "because it really keeps you cool."

In Chicago, street magician Jeremy Pitt-Payne said he has been working throughout the three-day stretch of triple-digit temperatures, but acknowledged that he might doff the Union Jack leather vest by the end of the day, even though it's part of his British magician character along with the black top hat.

But he had a secret for beating the heat — he starts his shows at 2 p.m. "when the Trump Tower is gracious enough to block out the sun" along his stretch of sidewalk.

___

Zongker reported from Washington. Associated Press writers Verena Dobnik in New York, Ed Donahue in Alexandria, Virginia, Steve Szkotak in Richmond, Virginia, Mike Householder in Detroit, Carla K. Johnson in Chicago and Tom Coyne in South Bend, Indiana, contributed to this report.

News from © The Associated Press, 2012
The Associated Press

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