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Tuesday
Jul122011

Scorcher! Parts of US Remain Near, At, Triple-Digit Temperatures

File photo. (Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)(NASHVILLE, Tenn.) -- Although the Northeast will get some relief in the coming days from the heat wave that is baking half of the U.S., states like Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Kansas will continue to cook with very little relief from thunderstorms and cooling temperatures.

Accuweather.com's expert senior meteorologist Alex Sosnowski said the high pressure system keeping parts of the country near or over 100 degrees -- from the New York metropolitan area to Kansas to Texas -- would likely be around for a while.

"We are entering the hottest part of the summer, traditionally, from mid-July to the first part of August," he said of the "dog days" of summer.

Sosnowski said the heat was really taking its toll on places that had been suffering from extreme heat since early June, but that many communities in the core of the high pressure system causing the heat would likely remain oppressively hot through July.

"It's really getting out of hand," Sosnowski said. "We really don't see anything big to change this weather pattern."

In Tennessee, where Nashville was enduring its second day of triple-digit temperatures, Justin Bruce, the morning meteorologist at ABC affiliate WKRN-TV, said that the city's temperatures had reached 100 degrees Monday.

"When you factor in humidity, the heat index was 114," he said. "We talked to the National Weather Service and they could not recall any time in the last several years when the heat index was 114."

On Tuesday, the city's temperatures were back around 100 with a heat index of 105-115. "It's pretty stinky," said Bruce, who added that typically the average high in Nashville was around 89 degrees.

Kraig Roozeboom, a crop production specialist at Kansas State University, said the heat combined with a drought that has been around since last fall, was affecting the state's corn crop. In Wichita, temperatures hit 111 Sunday, the National Weather Service said.

Tuesday's temperatures were in the 90s. The weather service issued an excessive heat warning through the evening for much of the state's northeast and several southern counties.

Kansas is the nation's sixth-largest corn producer, harvesting 581.2 million bushels last year, according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service. The service rated about 18 percent of the corn in poor to very poor condition this year, with 31 percent rated as fair. Only 8 percent was rated excellent.

"We always have heat," Roozeboom told ABC News. "One of the issues is it's getting hotter much earlier and staying hot."

Roozebum said that some of the corn crop was a "total loss" and that this year much of the state was suffering.

"This is a pretty bad year. Worse than normal," he said.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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