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Heat continues in South, breaks into storms in Northeast

An unrelenting heat wave continued across the southern United States on Saturday, promising more of the triple-digit temperatures that have roasted the region for weeks.
/ Source: Reuters

An unrelenting heat wave continued across the southern United States on Saturday, promising more of the triple-digit temperatures that have roasted the region for weeks.

Forecasters predicted the heat and dryness will continue in the area at least through next week, though they looked for remnants of former tropical storm Emily to bring some rain to coastal Florida on Saturday night.

In the Northeast, extreme heat that has marked the summer weeks was abating, with temperatures expected to dip into the low 70s Fahrenheit in Trenton, New Jersey in the evening to give residents an escape from what AccuWeather.com forecasters called a "heat bubble" that had blistered the area in July.

Looming thunderstorms also threatened parts of the Northeast and Midwest on Saturday.

But in the hot, dry South, the heat raged early in the day.

In Oklahoma City, the temperature was expected to hit 109 degrees, forecasters said.

At a national prayer rally in Houston's Reliant Stadium, temperatures outside pushed into the upper 80s by mid-morning and humidity soared -- leading rally leaders to encourage attendees who were planning to fast throughout the day to reconsider if they get too hot.

"Drink water, do what you need to do, don't worry about what others are doing," Luis Cataldo of the Kansas City International House of Prayer told the thousands gathered at the indoor stadium.

In Dallas, temperatures were expected to top 100 degrees for the 35th consecutive day, and no relief is in sight for at least another week, according to AccuWeather.com forecasters.

Temperatures had already reached 94 degrees in Little Rock, Arkansas, by 10 a.m., where a heat advisory was in effect. Highs were expected to hit 102 degrees, according to AccuWeather.com forecasters.

Severe storms elsewhere
The forecast was much different in the North and Midwest.

"There will be scattered thunderstorms spanning pretty large real estate from the Northeastern states through the Ohio valley and Tennessee Valley," said John Racy, a lead forecaster at the National Weather Service's Storm Prediction Center.

Parts of western New England down to the mid-Atlantic area will also be affected, Racy said.

Severe storms are also expected in Minnesota and Wisconsin and to the south in parts of Nebraska and Kansas. North Dakota had severe storms on Friday, but the system moved east on Saturday toward the upper Mississippi valley, Racy said.

Storms were forecast to bring heavy rains, hail and damaging wind gusts in cities such as Minneapolis and Omaha, according to forecasters.