What has been days of record-breaking heat this week for large swaths of America is finally showing at least some signs of abating, especially in the North and Northeast, but for others, the September scorcher lives on.
On Friday, the Northeast and parts of the Mid-Atlantic will continue to sweat for one last day, with highs in the upper 80s to low 90s – a few degrees cooler than the past few days. But with high humidity amid a very moist air mass, it'll feel like the upper 90s. Heat Advisories stretch from New York City to Boston on Friday.
Relief is on the way, though. A cold front, currently pushing across the Northeast is forecast to bring weekend temperatures back down to seasonal norms though it comes with a cost of some potentially severe thunderstorms.
Stubborn heat remains in the Southern Plains
In the Southern Plains, the FOX Forecast Center said dozens of daily record highs are expected to fall in the days ahead and Excessive Heat Warnings remain posted for much of Texas.
There, triple digit heat will remain common through the weekend before temperatures finally start to cool a little bit early next week.
Dozens of record high temperatures set this week in across the Southern Plains, Northeast and Mid-Atlantic
On Thursday, some 46 cities set or tied new high-temperature records, including New York City, Raleigh and Dallas – some breaking their daily record high by several degrees. That's on the heels of 30 other record highs set Wednesday.
The hot weather had some schools across the nation shorten class schedules this week, including in Philadelphia, due to the extreme heat and lack of air conditioning.
Baltimore had issued a Code Red Heat Alert through Thursday. The Washington-Dulles Airport hit 100 degrees Wednesday for the first time ever in September. That is the airport's all-time record high, not seen since 1960.
Pennsylvania State Police said it was so hot this week that one of their K9s suffered a heat-related illness during their search on Wednesday. The dog has since been released from veterinary care.
ERCOT still urges Texans to conserve energy
ERCOT, Texas' largest energy supplier, issued a Weather Watch through Saturday warning that demand for energy will be high and moved into an emergency status on Wednesday.
"ERCOT is bringing all available generation online, releasing any remaining reserves, using demand response to lower electric demand. ERCOT is also working with out-of-state Independent System Operators (ISOs) and Market Participants to obtain additional power generation capacity," the company said in a statement.
The utility was able to keep the power flowing Wednesday without the need for blackouts but is still asking for energy conservation through the weekend.
On Thursday, ERCOT issued another appeal for conservation, which again was successful in keeping the lights on.
Peak energy usage typically happens during the late afternoon and early evening when homeowners crank down the temperatures on their air conditioner's thermostat.
"Operating reserves are expected to be low this afternoon due to continued high temperatures, high demand, low wind, & declining solar power generation into the afternoon & evening hours," ERCOT said this week. "We request Texas businesses & residents conserve electricity use, if safe to do so."