The weather pattern that left much of the United States sweltering in the last week was in reversal on Sunday bringing cooling rainfall and even thunderstorms to swathes of the country, the Weather Channel reported.
The cooler weather also raises the risk of severe thunderstorms throughout the week, the National Weather Service reported.
Severe thunderstorm warnings, with winds of more than 60 mph, were issued for parts of North Dakota, Virginia and North Carolina Sunday afternoon, the Weather Service said.
Showers and thunderstorms were expected to continue along the Middle Missouri Valley to the Central Appalachians and the mid-Atlantic and extend as far south as the Tennessee Valley, it added.
The heat wave exited in dramatic fashion on Saturday, with thunderstorms — and even a tornado — ushering in the cooler weather.
An EF1 twister packing 110 mph winds roared through Ursuline College in northeast Ohio early Saturday and damaged the school's athletic complex. Few students were on campus at the time and no injuries were reported, according to the Weather Channel. The school was closed through the weekend.
"The big dome of high pressure that brought sweltering temperatures from the Upper Midwest to the Great Lakes and Northeast for many days is being replaced by a subtle dip in the upper wind flow through the middle part of the new week ahead," according to the Weather Channel's website.
The reversal promises relief from the record-breaking conditions experienced by many, with temperatures returning to or even falling below seasonal averages in the Upper Midwest to the Great Lakes, Ohio Valley and the Northeast of the country, it added.
This will result in highs in the 70s and 80s for cities such as Minneapolis, Chicago and Boston through Thursday, the Weather Channel added.
Last week's heat wave was the suspected cause of at least 14 deaths nationwide, the latest confirmed death a 78-year-old Brooklyn man who died of hyperthermia, New York City's medical examiner said on Sunday. The man, whose name was not released, died Friday as the air temperature reached 96 degrees.
The seven-day stretch of 90 or above temperatures was New York's longest heat wave since 2002.
Jeff Black of NBC News contributed to this report.
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First published July 21 2013, 1:42 PM