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Sweltering temperatures across US ease off slightly, but still hot

NEW YORK -- The heat that blanketed much of the U.S. and left at least 46 people dead will begin easing up this week as temperatures approach normal from the Midwest to the East Coast.

Andrew Orrison, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Maryland said Sunday night that a cold front through the South and the mid-Atlantic will bring thunderstorms and showers.

It “will break the heat wave we've had,” he said, dropping temperatures there to a more normal range of mid- to upper-80s. The Southeast and Tennessee Valley will be in the low 90s Fahrenheit (30s Celsius), “still fairly warm,” Orrison said, but not as hot as it has been.

The Midwest can expect cooler weather, as well, with temperatures in the 80s Fahrenheit.

The cooler air began sweeping southward Sunday in the eastern half of the country, bringing down some temperatures by 15 or more degrees from Saturday's highs, which topped 100 degrees (37.78 Celsius) in cities including Philadelphia, Washington, St. Louis, Indianapolis and Louisville, Kentucky.

The heat of the past several days has been blamed for at least 46 deaths across the country.

In Chicago, the county medical examiner's office determined Sunday that eight more people died from heat-related causes, adding to the 10 deaths previously confirmed Saturday. The deaths included a 100-year-old woman, 65-year-old woman, a 53-year-old man, a 46-year-old woman and an unidentified man believed to be about 30 years old.

In Tennessee, the third heat-related death of the year was a 62-year-old woman found dead in her home. She had a working air conditioner, but it was not turned on.

Deaths have also been reported by authorities in Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

To stay cool, Americans tried familiar solutions — dipping into the pool, going to the movies and riding subways just to be in air conditioning.

It was a steamy 80-plus degrees Fahrenheit (20s-plus degrees Celsius) in New York City on Sunday night. Some visitors to the city said they had spent much of the weekend shopping in air-conditioned stores rather than exploring Central Park as they had planned.

“But that's OK, shopping is always good in New York,” said Linda Boteach of Baltimore, waiting to board a bus that was spewing exhaust into the already hot night.

“It was worse in Baltimore,” Boteach saiwd. “It's all relative.”

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