Cool, Canadian air brought a quick end yesterday to the Midwest's hottest weather in decades but a heat was persisted in the Southwest, which has sizzled for two weeks in record heat blamed for more than 200 deaths.
Heavy rains doused the Northeast while a drought cut further into crop production and ate away rangeland grass in the Northern Plains.
Hundred-degree temperatures that spread across the Midwest Monday dropped sharply yesterday morning.
Chicago reported a 102-degree reading Monday -- a record for the date and the city's highest temperature in 24 years. But the mercury dropped into the 80s shortly after sunrise yesterday.
Heavy rains doused Michigan, Ohio and Western Pennsylvania. Up to three inches of rain fell in parts of northwestern Pennsylvania and flash flood watches were posted.
Crops and rangelands withered across parts of Montana, the Dakotas and Minnesota. Officials in northwestern Minnesota said grain crops were beyond help -- that yields would be sharply below normal even with rain.
Northern and central texas felt some relief Monday. Dallas, after 14 consecutive days of record temperatures, had 103 degrees, failing to break the date's record high of 105. And, for the first time in two weeks, the Dallas medical examiner reported no heat-related deaths.
But the deadly heat moved eastward into Tennessee, where it was blamed for at least deaths.
And Greenbrier, Ark., like many small towns, was facing a critical water supply problem because extremely hot and dry weather. Mayor Eddie Garrett said the city's water supply -- normally 250,000 gallons -- had dropped to 40,000 last week.
"A major fire or something like that would wipe us out," he said.
Other towns have declared states of emergency to close swimming pools and banning use of water for watering lawns and washing cars.