America

Parts Of U.S. Emerge From Wave Of Scorching Heat

As Florida temperatures hover in the 90's, boys use a swing rope to cool off in the Suwannee River near Chiefland, Fla. i i

As Florida temperatures hover in the 90's, boys use a swing rope to cool off in the Suwannee River near Chiefland, Fla. Phil Sandlin/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Phil Sandlin/AP
As Florida temperatures hover in the 90's, boys use a swing rope to cool off in the Suwannee River near Chiefland, Fla.

As Florida temperatures hover in the 90's, boys use a swing rope to cool off in the Suwannee River near Chiefland, Fla.

Phil Sandlin/AP

America's South, Midwest and Southwest are suffering through drought and high heat. Those regions have braved a string of days that saw temperatures in the high 90s, with heat indexes commonly reaching above 110 degrees.

But forecasters say much of the eastern U.S. will experience a gradual cool-down in the next few days. "New York and the D.C. area will drop down intothe lower 80s by Friday," the AP said, "while Atlanta drops to the upper 80s Friday and Saturday."

The cooler weather will likely skip Texas and Oklahoma, states which the Weather Channel predicts "do not get a break from the heat, with highs remaining between 95 and 105 degrees through Friday."

Thursday, the AP reported, "Heat advisories remained in effect for the Southeastern states for the fourth day in a row. Overnight lows have not dropped below 80 degrees in many cities, which created dangerous conditions for the elderly and young."

In Oklahoma, Gov. Mary Fallin issued a fire ban in 45 of the state's 77 counties. And in Oklahoma City, officials say the extremely high heat has strained paramedic services.

From member station KOSU, Michael Cross filed a report for Newscast:

EMSA, Oklahoma City's ambulance company, issued a heat alert with at least five heat-related calls a day back on June 17 and it has yet to be lifted.

Paramedic John Graham says the warning for anyone in the triple digit high temperatures is if you have to go out, be prepared:

"People go out for five minutes and they're stuck all day. Have provisions in your vehicle: sunscreen, hats, light-colored clothing, and of course, lots and lots of clear fluids: water, Gatorade, things like that."

The 18-year-emergency veteran says this is the longest a heat alert has ever stayed active. He says even the paramedics he works with are keeping hydrated to avoid collapsing from the heat.

Europe is experiencing a heat wave of its own, with 113-degree temperatures blamed for at least one fatality in Bosnia-Herzegovina Thursday.

It's also hot in many parts of Asia — especially Korea, where the lunar calendar predicts very hot weather on July 14. And according to Reuters, Koreans have a traditional way to deal with the heat: eating dog soup.

But as NBC's Today Show reports, not all Koreans are fans of the practice. In fact, animal activists put on canine costumes, tied themselves up with ropes and sat in cages to act out the mistreatment of dogs.

On today's All Things Considered, you can learn about ideas to make air conditioners more efficient. The story comes weeks after the Pentagon acknowledged spending billions a year on air conditioning in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Or, if you just want to get away from it all, Gadling has posted a list of U.S. cities that have vibrant food scenes. The list, focusing on things like farmers markets and restaurants, includes Seattle, Portland (both of them), and Chicago. Even if you don't go, the thought of staying inside and eating well sounds like a good one right now.

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