Another day of scorching temperatures blanketed the United States from Iowa to the East Coast on Saturday, with the number of deaths attributed to the extreme heat rising above two dozen.
Among the fatalities was a four-month-old Indiana girl who, police say, was left in a car outside her home in Greenfield, about 40 kilometres east of Indianapolis, for an extended period of time when temperatures were above 38 C.
The National Weather Service issued excessive heat warnings for cities including Washington, where temperatures reached 39 C by 1 p.m., and New York and Philadelphia, where temperatures hovered near or at triple digits.
One Chicago resident without air conditioning said he had taken to immersing himself in his bathtub to stay cool.
“It’s very hot inside, the hallways are extremely hot. The rooms are extremely hot. The people up in there, they leave their doors open so some air can circulate through there. Me, I just sit in the bathtub all day because I only have a fan,” Lew Kimmons said.
Forecasters said some of the areas hit hardest by the prolonged heat wave would soon get relief.
A cold front from Canada was expected to move south and break the record-setting heat and drop temperatures to below average levels over much of the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic states by Monday, the weather service said.
Severe weather, including thunderstorms and damaging winds, was likely to accompany the cooler temperatures, forecasters added.