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New storms down trees as sweltering heat spreads east

Triple-digit temperatures continue to blanket many areas of the country. NBC's Michelle Franzen reports.

Severe thunderstorms were rolling through parts of the Midwest and Northeast still suffering not only from last weekend's storm outages but also the sweltering heat that spread eastward Saturday. 

Trees and phone lines were downed across parts of upstate New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Missouri starting Saturday afternoon, the National Weather Service's Storm Prediction Center reported.

The New York City area, which saw muggy heat Saturday, was also in the path of the storm front, NBCNewYork.com reported

More storms are likely across the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic on Sunday, the Weather Channel reported.

St. Louis on Saturday saw 106 degrees, a 10th straight day of temperatures at 100 or above. Its record -- 13 straight days -- is not likely to be broken, with Sunday's forecast in the mid-90s.

Washington, D.C., topped out Saturday at 105 degrees -- just a degree short of its all-time record.

The heat and storms weren't the only things spreading into the East Coast -- so too was smoke from the wildfires out west.

The smoke has brought with it pollutants that will make the next few days even tougher for people with breathing issues.

The Weather Channel's Kelly Cass takes a look at the nation's forecast.

In fact, prevailing winds over the last week have been sending that smoke east, with officials issuing local health advisories.  

Maryland issued a "code orange" air quality alert on Friday and again on Saturday, meaning that the young and elderly are at risk, NBC affiliate WBAL-TV reported.

The wildfire smoke is on top of other air pollution coming into Maryland from other states.

"Maryland is not alone in these extreme conditions," Jay Apperson, a Maryland Department of the Environment spokesman, told WBAL-TV. "Chicago and other areas of the Midwest are issuing these type of advisories and that pollution is coming into Maryland, and we're also being affected by the wildfires." 

On Friday, smoke was detected "from the Rockies to to the Eastern Great Lakes, the mid Atlantic, and the Southeast," according to the U.S. Air Quality "Smog Blog" compiled by the University of Maryland. "The smoke is primarily light density but a moderate density area can be seen in and around the Ohio River Valley.

The highest values on Friday, it added, were "mainly over the Midwest and down towards the Southeast."

The heat wave shifting east comes after last weekend's storms that left millions without power. Hundreds of thousands still don't have electricity back.

Related: Chicago heat doesn't keep these seniors from aerobics

Moreover, since the first round of extreme heat two weeks ago, at least 46 deaths have been tied to the high temperatures, according to a list compiled by the Weather Channel on Friday.

NBCChicago.com on Saturday reported four more heat-related deaths there on Friday.

Celebrating the warm summer months, as schools let out and the cooling off begins

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