From: Jim Forsyth, Reuters, SAN ANTONIO
Published August 1, 2011 06:31 AM

Still baking in the Midwest and South

Sticky heat was expected to smother much of the country's midsection in the coming days as hotter-than-usual temperatures continued to roast parts of the Midwest and South, forecasters said on Sunday.

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Areas of Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma were under excessive heat warnings with heat advisories issued for a large swath of the central United States, according to the National Weather Service.

The unrelenting heat in central and eastern states has led to a slew of "Heat Superlatives" in 2011, according to weather.com meteorologist Chris Dolce.

More than a dozen U.S. cities from Tallahassee to Minneapolis have seen all-time highs exceeding any temperature on record for any month, Dolce reported Sunday.

High heat put Reading, Pennsylvania, on the map for 106 degrees Fahrenheit -- its hottest day since at least 1869 -- and Childress in thirsty Texas hit the highest mark at 117, a temperature not seen since 1893.

Heat and humidity were forecast to continue with air temperatures and heat index readings climbing well into the triple digits for parts of the central United States at least through midweek.

"It's pretty incredible to just be locked into a pattern of this kind of dry heat for this long for the Southern Plains," said AccuWeather.com senior meteorologist Dan Pydynowski.

"There doesn't seem to be any relief in sight," he said.

For farmers like Bryan Burgess in Ashville, Alabama, this lack of relief from continued heat means more bad news for business.

Burgess said he has had to fire employees for fighting over air-conditioned tractors and trucks, which are slower and more prone to overheating.

"Heat brings out the worst," Burgess told Reuters on Sunday. "Some folks think that the upper 90s should not drive away or create problems for help. But, when you take a load of hay to put into a barn loft, the heat in the loft is 140 degrees.

"Do you know anyone who would do this type work?"

Photo credit Consumers Energy.

Article continues: http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/07/31/us-weather-idUSTRE76U1AT20110731

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