Heat, Humidity Keeps Hold on Eastern States

NEW YORK (AP) -
A man casts his line out as he goes fishing under the Brooklyn Bridge at sunrise as a heatwave continues to affect the region, Sunday. (Reuters/Andrew Kelly)

A heat wave will continue to keep much of the Eastern States in its grip Sunday, while a cold front that could lower temperatures in the middle of the country may be accompanied by thunderstorms that threaten flash floods.

The National Weather Service says the “oppressive and dangerous” heat wave will abate by Monday and Tuesday. The agency says a swath of the East Coast, from the Carolinas up to Maine, faces the greatest heat threat Sunday. Daytime highs are expected in the mid-to-upper 90s, which, coupled with high humidity, will feel like 100 to 110 degrees Fahrenheit.

It’s not expected to get much better when the sun goes down, as temperatures are expected to remain at or above the high 70s overnight.

Inland, strong wind and rain were expected to persist Sunday in the Midwest, and a cold front stretching between the Central Plains and the Great Lakes region is forecast to move south. But in addition to cooler temperatures, the cold front is expected to carry showers and thunderstorms, which could lead to heavy rainfall and flash flooding in the Midwest.

Many in areas facing excessive heat this weekend have no air-conditioning, and cities have opened cooling shelters. With record- or near-record-high temperatures at night, when many air-conditioned places are closed, the weather can become especially dangerous for people who don’t get a chance to cool down, experts say. The risks are greater for young children, the elderly and the sick.

The heat wave has canceled events across the affected region, including in New York City, where authorities scrubbed a commemoration of the 1969 moon landing and other events.

Storms have knocked out power to hundreds of thousands of people in parts of Michigan and Wisconsin, heightening the misery.

To reduce strain on the electrical grid, New York City also directed office buildings to set thermostats no lower than 78 degrees through Sunday.