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Intense summer heat relaxes for some, but parts of the South continue to bake

Despite heat relief for some, July will likely end up as the hottest in history.
US Weather Heat Arizona
A man drinks water handed out by the Salvation Army in Tucson, Ariz., on Wednesday.Andrew Caballero-Reynolds / AFP via Getty Images

The intense heat that has blanketed large parts of the U.S. for weeks has finally subsided in some areas, though millions of people remain under heat advisories in the South.

Over the weekend, in Texas, El Paso’s 44-day streak of 100-plus-degree-Fahrenheit days ended, with the city's high reaching 97 F on Sunday. This streak nearly doubled the previous record streak of 23 days set in July 1994.

Phoenix saw its record-shattering 31st day in a row of 110-degree or higher temperatures on Sunday. That streak is forecast to finally come to an end Monday, thanks to slightly cooler temperatures associated with monsoonal moisture and thunderstorms across the region.

In addition to Phoenix and El Paso, the intense heat is expected to relax for parts of the Southwest, the Midwest and the Northeast, as the core of the heat shifts to the southern Plains and Gulf Coast.

Heat alerts were in place by Monday morning for 39 million people across parts of Texas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida. For these areas, high temperatures are expected to run 5-15 degrees Fahrenheit above average for much of the workweek.

Forecast record highs on Monday included New Orleans, Dallas, Houston, San Antonio and Austin, Texas, as air temperatures soar to the century mark and beyond. These temperatures combined with humidity will lead to dangerous heat indices in the 100-110 F range.

As July comes to a close, it won't be long before Copernicus, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and NASA release their monthly recap reports revealing just how hot July 2023 was.

The World Meteorological Organization already announced last week that it expects July 2023 to be the hottest month on record.