Children take refuge from the heat by playing in the fountain at the Kansas State Fair on Monday in Hutchinson, Kan.
By Daniel Arkin, Staff Writer, NBC News
A surge of late-summer heat was blazing across the U.S. Midwest on Tuesday, prompting officials to shutter public schools in Illinois and Ohio as near-record high temperatures turned the region into a veritable oven.
The National Weather Service issued a heat advisory for the southern flank of Michigan, including metro Detroit, which will run through Wednesday night as temperatures are slated to reach a sizzling 96 degrees Fahrenheit (36 degrees Celsius).
“We thought the dog days of summer were behind us, but we’re having this last high heat event with temperatures above normal,” Matt Mosteiko, a Weather Service meteorologist in Michigan, told Reuters.
A heat advisory also loomed over Ohio as temperatures were forecast to near the state record high of 96 degrees, set 30 years ago. Temperatures hovered roughly 15 degrees above normal. The heat index could cross 100 degrees in some areas, according to NBC station WLWT in Cincinnati.
In Middletown, outside of Cincinnati, students were let out of school early due to the extreme heat. Meanwhile, in the Chicago area, city officials ordered the closure of some 50 schools.
At O’Hare International Airport, temperatures reached a boiling afternoon high of 92 degrees, just a few notches away from the record 95 set 30 years ago, according to NBCChicago.com.
Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn said more than 100 cooling centers were being opened across the state on Tuesday. He pleaded with residents to stave off dehydration and other effects of horrible heat.
Temperatures are not expected to ease overnight. Even more high heat was expected going into Wednesday, when it will work its way east, forecasters told Reuters.
There may finally be some relief from the suffocating heat and humidity that has affected millions of people this week. But with that, come some strong storms. Weather Channel meteorologist Mike Seidel has more.
By Gillian Spear, NBC News
The stifling heat wave that blanketed most of the country for the past week days relented on Saturday as storms swept through the Midwest and Northeast.
Meteorologists said an advancing cold front managed to bring temperatures down a tad in some portions of the Great Lakes region on Friday before making a drive through the Northeast.
The cold front reached the Ohio Valley and parts of the Northeast on Saturday and was expected to hit the mid-Atlantic States on Sunday, the Weather Channel reports.
The front brought stormy conditions with it. A tornado with 110-mph winds collapsed the wall of the athletic center at Ursuline College in northeast Ohio early Saturday and damaged other buildings but there were no injuries, The Associated Press.
In Philadelphia, the threat of lightning and heavy rain forced people attending a Taylor Swift concert to flee their seats and move into a concourse area until the storm swept through, NBCPhiladelphia.com reported. Concertgoers were allowed to go back to their seats at 10:30 p.m. ET. The storm also causes scattered power failures.
Carlo Allegri / Reuters
A group of students relax in Bryant Park during a heat wave in New York, July 20, 2013.
Over the weekend, temperatures in Chicago were expected to drop more than 15 degrees, driving the heat down from 94 on Friday to an anticipated 78 degrees on Sunday.
In the Northeast, the week-long heat wave peaked at 10 degrees higher than July temperatures in past years. On Friday, the heat broke daily record highs in Burlington, Vermont, Portland, Maine and Boston, where temperatures reached 99 degrees with a heat index of 105.
The hot and humid conditions have driven many people indoors, causing record-breaking power usage in New York City on Friday, as temperatures in some locations hit 100 degrees. Saturday was the seventh straight day with temperatures in New York at 90 or above, the longest heat wave in the city since 2002, NBCNewYork.com said.
The heat is the suspected cause of at least 13 deaths nationwide, three of which occurred in Milwaukee. The National Weather Service says Milwaukee recorded four consecutive days of highs in the mid-90s, with the heat index reaching over 100 degrees. But on Saturday, the city saw highs only in the low 80s.
Thirty-five people were treated for heat-related illnesses on Saturday at a rally for Trayvon Martin in Dallas, Texas, but no one was taken to a hospital, according to city Fire Rescue spokesman Jason Evans.
A cold front is making its way to the East Coast of the country, which could bring some much-needed relief to residents who have been enduring a heat wave. TODAY's Dylan Dreyer reports
So far the power grid is holding up to the demand of thousands of air conditioners, as many cities see temperatures five to 10 degrees above average. NBC's Tom Costello reports.
By Matthew DeLuca, Staff Writer, NBC News
A sweltering heat wave that has pushed temperatures into the 90s from Cape Cod to Oregon continued Wednesday as emergency crews, power companies and commuters sweat it out with little relief in sight before the end of the week.
The countrywide slow bake is expected to continue until a cold front moves south on Friday over the Plains, making thunderstorms likely, the National Weather Service said. Temperatures along the East Coast looked unlikely to tail off until Sunday, forecasters said.
Low temperatures read like highs; the lowest temperature in New York City since Sunday has been 77 degrees. And the heat index -- the "feels like" factor -- is well into triple digits for tens of millions of people as clear, sunny skies combine with high humidity in many places.
As the heat sweeps across the US, in Atlanta they finally cracked 90 degrees. It has been 40 years since the city has gone this deep into July without hitting that temperature. NBC's Mike Seidel reports.
“Plain and simple, this week may feel the worst of any week for this summer in the Northeast,” Accuweather.com meteorologist Alex Sosnowski told Reuters. “The I-95 region will be a virtual sauna bath.”
People across the country struggled to stay cool, with power companies urging customers to turn off nonessential devices and heat advisories in effect for 16 states including parts of New York, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Connecticut.
Every state but Alaska, New Mexico, and Hawaii stood to hit 90 degrees on Wednesday, NBC News meteorologist Bill Karins said.
The high temperature in Chicago Wednesday afternoon was 94 degrees — the hottest day of the year in the city, the Weather Channel reported.
New York City's afternoon high in Central Park was 97 degrees, just 3 degrees shy of the record 100 degrees set in 1953.
The high was also 97 degrees at Reagan International Airport in Washington, D.C. Philadelphia hit 96 and Boston 94 — 12 degrees above normal.
“A lack of a breeze in the humid conditions at night will make it very rough in urban areas without air conditioning or a fan,” Sosnowski told Reuters.
It was so hot Wednesday afternoon that chemicals from fire-fighting system above pumps of a gas station were released onto patrons in West Hartford, Conn., sending one woman to the hospital as a precaution, NBCConnecticut.com reported. Police blamed heat for the chemical release.
Forty-three states are experiencing temperatures in the 90s this week, and 16 have issued heat advisories or warnings. The heat is expected to break over the weekend. NBC's Tom Costello reports and TODAY's Al Roker gives the forecast.
An 18-year-old New York City Council intern passed out at a mayoral campaign stop on Tuesday morning and waited 30 minutes before she was picked up by an ambulance, NBC New York reported. At one point, mayoral candidate Christine Quinn called the city’s police commissioner to speed up the process. Area hospitals have seen a 5 to 20 percent spike in heat-related illnesses, according to the station.
There was little relief in many cities overnight as temperatures stayed high through the evening hours.
Andrew Burton / Getty Images
Chess players use umbrellas to find shade in Union Square on July 16, 2013 in New York City.
“In this case, it’s the longevity of the heat wave, that poses the biggest concern, rather than the magnitude of the temperatures themselves,” Weather Channel meteorologist Jon Erdman said.
Compounding the sizzling heat in Prince Georges County, right outside Washington, D.C., crews worked to make emergency repairs to a major water main – but some residents in the Maryland county will not be able to get more than a trickle out of their faucets on Wednesday.
“The more judiciously you use the water, the longer it will last,” Kira Lewis, a spokesperson for the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission, told NBC Washington. “We’re reminding folks new water is not coming into the system Wednesday.”
The water shortage could last three to five days in the affected area, NBC Washington reported.
Two deaths in the Chicago area on Tuesday were cited as possibly related to the heat, the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office told NBC Chicago. Temperatures in the city could feel as high as 105 degrees in the city on Friday, forecasters said.
A 78-year-old Kentucky man whose body was found around 9 p.m. local time on Tuesday died from heat exhaustion, the Mason County deputy coroner said, according to NBC affiliate LEX18. Roy Allen Bishop had gone missing from his home about 12 hours earlier.
And New York City Wednesday reported its first heat-related death of the summer. A 57-year-old Staten Island man died of hyperthermia on July 8, the city's medical examiner ruled, NBCNewYork.com reported.
The near-record temperatures and humidity have already strained the electricity supply in New England, causing the region’s power grid operator to urge people to turn off lights and appliances they do not need as a precautionary measure.
As temperatures soar across the country, NBC's chief medical editor Dr. Nancy Snyderman shares how to beat the heat and stay healthy, and describes who is most at risk from the high temperatures.
“As the heat continues to build throughout the week, electricity demand is expected to increase significantly, which is likely to result in tight system conditions,” said company vice president Vamsi Chadalavada in a release. ISO New England expected to hit a peak power demand of about 27,800 megawatts on Thursday.
Power usage also threatened to reach new highs in New York, where Con Edison said crews have worked around the clock to repair outages to more than 7,600 customers since temperatures began to rise again on Sunday. No usage records have been set yet, the company said, but that could change as the state stood to see no relief on Wednesday or Thursday.
In Maine, where temperatures reached 90 on Tuesday, the spiking mercury had people rushing to purchase new air conditioning units, causing some stores in the Portland area to sell out over the weekend, hardware store owner Tim Currier said.
“It takes good hot weather like this to push people over the edge,” Currier told local newspaper the Portland Press Herald. “This is the time when everyone starts calling because they’re panicking and can’t find [air conditioners] anywhere.”
Most people will need to wait for the weekend to get more than temporary relief from the stifling heat, however.
“There is relief ahead,” the Weather Channel’s Erdman said. “Cooler air should arrive in the upper Midwest beginning Friday. By this weekend, the Northeast will receive the cooler air with open arms. All this will come at the cost of severe thunderstorms, however.”
Jeff Black of NBC News contributed to this report.
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There will be anywhere between six to seven days of searing heat on the East Coast where temperatures are reaching the mid-90s. Heat advisories will be in effect across much of the northeast into New England. Meteorologist Janice Huff reports
By Erin McClam, Staff Writer, NBC News
Blistering heat and stifling humidity settled in Monday over tens of millions of people from Maine through the Ohio Valley, and forecasters warned that relief was as far off as the weekend -- day or night.
The culprit was a dome of high pressure that effectively turned a quarter of the country into a convection oven. It’s not expected to budge until a cold front shoves it out of the way on Friday.
The heat was expected to be more stifling Monday at the Canadian border than in the Carolinas, and more oppressive along the Great Lakes than along the Rio Grande.
Making matters worse, nighttime lows across much of the Northeast are expected to drop only into the low 80s, compounding the heat for the following day. In the dead of night Monday in Philadelphia, it will feel like 90 degrees.
“If you think you’re going to do a run later in the day or, you know, go into your garden later in the day, you can’t. It’s just too hot,” said Stephanie Abrams, a meteorologist for The Weather Channel.
Forecasters said the heat would only grow by the day. The forecast high for Philadelphia is 94 on Monday, 95 on Wednesday and 97 on Thursday. For Newark, N.J., the expected high is 95 on Monday, 97 on Thursday and 98 on Friday.
The intense heat being felt across the United States isn't going away anytime soon, with temperatures holding their ground in the high 90s throughout the rest of the week.
Con Edison, the utility that provides power to New York, said it was prepared for outages and had extra crews on call, although it said a $1.2 billion upgrade after Hurricane Sandy should help keep the juice flowing.
Another worry is a spike in the population of mosquitoes, particularly the kind that carry West Nile Virus.
"Unfortunately, the weather conditions we're having, with high heat, high humidity and occasional rain, replenish these sites," state entomologist Ted Andreadis told the Courant. "I think the virus will start to build."
The East wasn’t the only part of the country broiling. The forecast high was 97 for Billings, Mont., 99 for Medford, Ore., and 101 for Boise, Idaho. Those are as much as 10 degrees above average for this time of year.
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Forecasters posted a heat advisory for parts of Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania and warned people to stay out of the sun and check on neighbors and relatives.
They took the more serious step of posting an excessive heat warning — defined as a prolonged period of dangerously high temperatures — for the counties around Philadelphia.
It has already been a hotter July than normal. The average temperature this month has been five to six degrees above normal in Boston and elsewhere and New England, and three to four degrees above normal in New York and Philadelphia.
As far north as Vermont, temperatures were in the 90s. Burlington, Vt., even hit a record high temperature for the day -- 93 degrees, meteorologist Michael Muccilli of the National Weather Service told NBC News. The last time it hit 93 was on July 15, 1955.
People in the area were escaping the heat by going down to Lake Champlain or taking a dip in local rivers and streams, Muccilli said.
Jeff Black of NBC News contributed to this report.
This story was originally published on Mon Jul 15, 2013 11:40 PM EDT
Chanze Eldridge, 5, of Boston, plays in the fountain at the Christian Science Center in Boston, Saturday, July 6, 2013. Temperatures reached into the 90s with high humidity in the Boston area on Saturday. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)
By Sophia Rosenbaum, NBC News
The East Coast sweated through its first official heat wave of the summer over the weekend, but forecasters said to expect that sticky feeling to hang around even as temperatures dip.
“It will still be as humid, but it won’t be as hot,” said Mark Ressler, a lead meteorologist for The Weather Channel.
Heat waves, fires and floods have tormented parts of the country as millions of Americans are on alert for wild weather. NBC's Gabe Gutierrez reports.
States down the eastern seaboard have experienced temperatures in the 90s since Wednesday.
Washington, D.C., Boston, New York City and Philadelphia saw some of the hottest temperatures of the heat wave over the Fourth of July weekend, Ressler said.
The National Weather Service issued an excessive heat advisory for parts of New York and Massachusetts on Sunday, citing dangerous levels of heat and humidity. With the heat and humidity combined, it felt like temperatures reached 105 degrees in some areas.
Julie Koesterer, a mother of three from St. Louis, said it’s been hotter on her family’s weekend visit to New York City than it usually is in the Midwest. She said her family has been combating the heat by drinking lots of water and keeping their eyes peeled for the next air-conditioned stop on their trip.
“The kids are having a really hard time walking around in the heat,” Koesterer said on Sunday. “We start sweating as soon as we walk out the door and every night we shower as soon as we get back to the hotel to try to cool down.”
While the temperatures are not unusual for early July, Ressler said this was the first official heat wave for the East Coast. Heat waves are marked by three days of continuous heat with temperatures in the 90s or higher. Sunday marks Boston’s fifth day of unrelenting heat, although thunderstorms are expected to move into the area Sunday evening, forecasters said.
And for most of the affected areas, it’s not just hot during the day. Temperatures stayed above 70 degrees in urban cities all weekend, Ressler said.
In the Southeast region of the country, Ressler said temperatures were below average because of clouds and rainfall. Like the East Coast, humidity was still high.
Ressler said the cooler temperatures are unusual for the South during the summer months.
“You think about the South as being searingly hot when you get into the summer,” he said. “Going back into the middle of last week, temperatures were in the 70s, which doesn’t happen in July really at all.”
By Monday, a hot-weather reprieve is expected to drop temperatures on the East Coast a few degrees to the 80s, where they will likely stay for the rest of the week.
Ressler said the Northeast may stand to see another extended period of heat toward the middle of July.
This photo taken Monday, June 17, 2013, shows people sunning at Goose Lake in Anchorage, Alaska. Parts of Alaska are setting high temperature records as a heat wave continues across Alaska. Temperatures are nothing like what Phoenix or Las Vegas gets, but temperatures in the 80s and 90s are hot for Alaska, where few buildings have air conditioning. (AP Photo/Mark Thiessen)
By Sophia Rosenbaum, NBC News
Famed for its biting cold, Alaska is now sweating through a brutal heat wave that has gone from an oddball curiosity to a worrisome danger.
Spring never happened for many parts of the state, as a never-ending winter until mid-May gave way to record-breaking heat in June.
"It was an incredibly rapid transition," Michael Lawson, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service based in Alaska, told NBC. "Literally, our spring was about five days before we jumped into summer-type weather."
Temperatures in the 90s -- an extreme rarity -- were preceded by a record-breaking cold snap. That caused rapid snow melts in parts of the state and localized flooding. Now, the above-normal heat has led to parts of Alaska to be placed under a red-flag warning for wildfires.
The National Weather Service issued the warning, in effect until Wednesday, because of the dry, windy conditions that could cause wildfires. Melissa Kreller, a meteorologist in Fairbanks for The Weather Channel, said people should be extremely careful about lighting matches or throwing cigarettes on the ground over the next few days. In many areas, firework sales for the Fourth of July are banned.
The blast of heat started last week with temperatures in the mid-to-high 80s for most of Alaska. South-central Alaska had four all-time highs on June 17, with temperatures in Talkeetna reaching 94 degrees. In Fairbanks, the “near-record temperatures” are expected Wednesday and Thursday to clock in at 91 degrees.
Temperatures above 90 are extremely rare in Alaska. Fairbanks has only experienced 90 or above 14 times since in 109 years. The record in Fairbanks is 95 degrees set back in 1915.
A large northward bulge in the jet stream is to blame, consensus shows. Why that has occurred is more hotly debated. Some scientists tie the jet stream's odd behavior on climate change. Others don't make the connections directly, instead seeing random weather or long-term cycles at work. And even more scientists are taking a wait-and-see approach.
Temperatures in Chicago surged to the mid-60s Tuesday, nearly breaking the city’s all-time record for January. But then temperatures plummeted almost 30 degrees Wednesday, and weather forecasters expect a deeper drop into the mid-teens Thursday.
The frigid cold will be a rude awakening for Chicagoans who enjoyed Tuesday’s balmy climes.
“I’ve never skated when it’s 60 degrees out before, so this is a new one for me,” Kevin Price told the Chicago Tribune, dressed for spring-like weather in a T-shirt and jeans.
Tuesday's mid-afternoon high of 63 at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport came close to January’s all-time record, 67 degrees, hit in 1950. But the freak heat beat a 99-year record for Jan. 29.
Meanwhile, temps in Washington, D.C. also rose to unseasonable heights, hitting the mid-70s, giving the nation’s capital a welcome reprieve from days of icy chill.
But in the Midwest and parts of the east, sunny conditions have dramatically dimmed. Green Bay, Wisconsin, swung from the 50s to six inches of snow Wednesday.
Tornadoes ripped through four states Wednesday, killing at least two, as a cold front clashed with warm air, producing unusual weather patterns over a large part of the country. The Weather Channel's Julie Martin reports.
Heat advisories were issued Tuesday throughout those areas. Detroit, for example, matched its record of 101 degrees for a July 17 (set in 1887) -- and it felt like 105, the National Weather Service reported.
Chicago reached 99 degrees and it felt like 102, while New York City topped out at 94 degrees.
"The jet stream has been way up to the north in the midsection of the country," TODAY meteorologist Al Roker said Tuesday. It's being kept there by what's called an upper-level ridge, and that's keeping that section of the U.S. very warm, he added.
The jet stream will drop a bit farther south next week but overall the ridge trapping heat will continue into next week, dire news for drought-hit farmers and ranchers. "There's no relief in sight for at least the next week from drought," Roker said.
As the U.S. experiences another heat wave, farmers are being hit hard by the worst drought conditions recorded since 1956 and consumers can expect to see corn prices rising. The Weather Channel's Eric Fisher reports.
The heat-trapping ridge will also "stretch out" to the west over the next week, Roker added.
Storms will bring some relief to the upper Midwest, but not enough to put a dent in the drought.
In Chicago, the cool front should move in Tuesday night after two days around 100. Last week, the city saw three straight days of triple-digit temperatures -- and a Lake Michigan with 80-degree water along the beaches.
In New York City, the heat wave will break by Wednesday evening with the arrival of strong thunderstorms.
New York is in its fourth heat wave of the summer, NBCNewYork.com reported Tuesday, and Central Park has already hit 90 degrees or higher 13 times this summer -- nearly the 15 days it averages for an entire summer.
Besides scores of cities reporting record daily highs this month, several have also posted record temperatures for any day in July. Among them, reported The Weather Channel's Eric Fisher, are Chicago, Denver, Indianapolis, St. Louis and Washington, D.C.
Boston nearly joined that list on Tuesday, reaching 96 degrees -- just 2 shy of its July record.
Although temperatures have dropped across the Midwest and Northeast, irrigation ponds in southern Illinois are drying up and crops such as corn and soybeans are shriveling in the fields. NBC's John Yang reports.
By Vignesh Ramachandran, msnbc.com
It's been a hot year.
In fact, the first six months of 2012 accounted for the warmest January-through-June period on record for the contiguous U.S., the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced Monday.
The national temperatures averaged 52.9 degrees — "4.5 degrees above the long-term average," NOAA said in a statement. "Most of the contiguous U.S. was record and near-record warm for the six-month period, except the Pacific Northwest." East of the Rockies, 28 states were "record warm," NOAA said.
The past year also registered as the hottest 12-month period on record in the contiguous U.S., narrowly surpassing the mark set last month, NOAA said.
Climate models indicate the hot temperatures are not expected to ease anytime soon. “It looks like it’s going to stay above normal, for much of the remainder of the summer,” said Jon Gottschalck at NOAA's Climate Prediction Center.
Last month was the 14th hottest June on record. The average June temperature for the contiguous 48 states was 71.2 degrees — two degrees higher than the 20th century average.
With much of the nation experiencing scorching temperatures, NOAA found 170 American cities met or broke record-high temperatures in June. South Carolina's 113-degree high and Georgia's 112-degree high could be the highest temperature records ever in their respective states.
Conditions have also been incredibly dry — it was the tenth-driest June on record. More than half the contiguous U.S. — 56 percent — have drought conditions, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.
Colorado, which experienced its worst wildfire season in a decade, was 6.4 degrees above normal June temperatures. Wildfires ravaged land across the country with more than 1.3 million acres burned overall — "the second most on record during June," NOAA said.
While much of the country was bone dry, Florida had its wettest June on record. The Sunshine State was more than six inches above average precipitation, much of it caused by Tropical Storm Debby. Washington state, Oregon and Maine each saw a top-ten wet June.
“Scattered showers and thunderstorms occur from the Mid-Atlantic to the central and southern Plains and southern Rockies,” the National Weather Service predicted. “Some thunderstorms may become severe from southern Virginia and the Carolinas to eastern Oklahoma and northeast Texas.”
The agency added: “Very hot temperatures are still possible across parts of the South, Midwest and southern Plains, but the area of 100 degree-plus temperatures will be much smaller than last week”
TODAY show meteorologist Al Roker said a change in the jetstream has cooled temperatures in the eastern U.S., but resulted in high pressure -- and rising temperatures -- in the western part of the country. Reno, Nev., and Salt Lake City were expected to hit 96 degrees on Monday.
The death toll from last week's heat wave jumped to 82, The Weather Channel reported Monday. Storms, meanwhile, left hundreds of thousands of Americans without power.
The heat wave that gripped the Midwest in recent weeks appears to have broken, but for farmers in the heartland, relief will only truly come with a downpour. NBC's John Yang reports.
On Sunday, National Weather Service Meteorologist Andrew Orrison said a cool front will move through the South and the mid-Atlantic bringing thunderstorms and showers.
The cooler air began sweeping southward Sunday in the eastern half of the country, bringing down some temperatures by 15 or more degrees from Saturday's highs, which topped 100 in cities including Philadelphia, St. Louis, Indianapolis, Louisville, Ky., and Washington, D.C.
It was 80-plus degrees in New York City on Sunday night. Some visitors said they'd spent much of the weekend shopping in air-conditioned stores rather than exploring Central Park as they had planned.
"But that's OK, shopping is always good in New York," said Linda Boteach of Baltimore, waiting to board a bus that was spewing exhaust into the already hot night.
"It was worse in Baltimore," Boteach said. "It's all relative."
In Chicago, the Cook County medical examiner's office determined Sunday that eight more people died from heat-related causes, adding to the 10 deaths confirmed Saturday. The deaths included a 100-year-old woman, a 65-year-old woman, a 53-year-old man, a 46-year-old woman and an unidentified man believed to be about 30 years old.
In Tennessee, the third heat-related death of the year was a 62-year-old woman found dead in her home. She had a working air conditioner, but it was not turned on.
Deaths have also been reported by authorities in Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.
To stay cool, Americans tried familiar solutions — dipping into the pool, going to the movies and riding subways just to be in air conditioning.
Gregory Englebach relaxed on a bench Sunday evening near the Starbucks coffee shop in Philadelphia where he'd worked all day, enjoying temperatures that had dipped into the 80s.
"It's the humidity that gets me," said the 24-year-old Englebach. He said he thinks his utility bill has already gone up by $30 or $40 because of his increased use of electricity at home. But he's resigned to it: "It's air conditioning or I can't sleep at night," he said.
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.
Campers turned out at a KOA campground east of Kansas City, though Jeraldine Bush, who works on the grounds, said people that had air conditioners were running them.
In Nashville, Tenn., going outside felt "like walking into a fire," said Tabatha Collins, general manager of Two Rivers Campground. She said the campground was "pretty full" and people were spending lots of time in the swimming pool.
About 16 miles southeast of Madison, Wis., where weather.com predicted a heat index near 105 degrees Friday, it was "very warm and muggy," said Bert Davis, owner and manager of Badgerland Campground. For campers that made reservations, "they're not letting the heat ruin their vacations," he said, though he noted a dip in the number of drop-in campers.
But not all campers were braving the heat. At Bass' River Resort, about 100 miles southwest of St. Louis — which saw its ninth straight day above 100 degrees — manager Stephan Bass is seeing people move from tents to air-conditioned cabins.
Forty-five miles north of Chicago — which saw its third consecutive day in triple digits — attendance hasn't really changed at Six Flags Great America, said park spokesman Brandon Bruce. But there are more people choosing to go on the water rides: "People are definitely taking advantage of that, trying to stay cool," he explained.