A heat wave will continue to plague parts of the Northeast but leave New York mostly alone beginning Thursday, forecasters said.
An official heat wave in the Northeast requires prolonged temperatures of 90 or above, and the forecast for New York on Thursday was a high of 89 — still sticky and uncomfortable, but a far cry from the triple digits recorded earlier in the week.
Stifling heat was expected to continue in Philadelphia, Washington and other parts of the East, with temperatures in the mid-90s through Friday.
On Wednesday, with triple-digit highs recorded from New York to Charlotte, N.C., roads buckled, nursing homes with air-conditioning problems were forced to evacuate and utilities called for conservation as the electrical grid neared its capacity.
In New York, the Consolidated Edison power company was distributing dry ice to customers without power in parts of Brooklyn as the company faced another day of scrambling to keep up with electricity demands. About 1,800 customers lacked power at 9 a.m.
Deaths blamed on the weather included a 92-year-old Philadelphia woman, a Baltimore resident who was found at home where the indoor temperature was over 90 and a homeless woman discovered lying next to a car in suburban Detroit.
The application of the term "heat wave" differs across the country. In Peachtree City, Ga., National Weather Service meteorologist Mike Leary said temperatures have been in the mid- to upper 90s for days — but that it hardly constitutes a heat wave for Georgians.
"These are pretty typical temperatures here," he said. "It's what people expect."
© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.