Cconstruction workers Santiago Gomez and Jorge Moreno take a break during a road construction project in Chicago.By Sitthixay Ditthavong, AP
Cconstruction workers Santiago Gomez and Jorge Moreno take a break during a road construction project in Chicago.The heat has broken all-time records from the northern Great Plains to the Southeast already this week. The rest of the month will bring even more scorching heat from Boston to Atlanta, with temperatures reaching into the low 100s, said Meteorologist Michael Palmer of The Weather Channel."To get this kind of heat in late June is unusual and most likely historic for many areas," Palmer said. Temperatures will gradually cool in the latter half of next week, but "It'll be hot on July Fourth just about everywhere."This week's temperatures broke records in some areas that date to the Dust Bowl of the 1930s. Benkelman, Neb., cooked at 114 degrees Wednesday, beating a previous June record of 111 set in 1936, according to the National Climatic Data Center.The weather will continue to harry firefighters battling the Waldo Canyon wildfire that has destroyed hundreds of homes in Colorado Springs.Public safety officials in some communities warn that more fires could be started by Independence Day fireworks as the holiday approaches.Crews in Pigeon Forge, Tenn., dealt with a brush fire last month that nearly burned a cabin with 60 people in it. The cause was fireworks, Fire Chief Tony Watson said.In Bexar County, Texas, which includes San Antonio, County Judge Nelson Wolff banned aerial fireworks for the weekend because of the heat and dry conditions.The 60-hour ban covers "sky rockets with sticks and missiles with fins, anything the takes off before it explodes," spokeswoman Laura Jesse said. Wolff has asked Texas Gov. Rick Perry to extend the ban to July 5, she said.In Rapid City, S.D., where Wednesday's 106-degree heat beat a June record set in 1974, 25 roofers working for Black Hills Roofing have been starting at 6 a.m. to beat the heat, co-owner Christa Headid said."You want to make sure you get enough fluid and salt pills to keep their electrolytes up," Headid said. "We did work a shorter day because of the heat."
Contributing: Sean Dreher of WBIR-TV in Knoxville, Tenn.For more information about reprints & permissions, visit our FAQ's. To report corrections and clarifications, contact Standards Editor Brent Jones. For publication consideration in the newspaper, send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org. Include name, phone number, city and state for verification. To view our corrections, go to corrections.usatoday.com.