After spending the weekend without power in record-high temperatures, millions of residents from the Midwest to the East Coast may not have much relief on Monday with forecasters warning that the temperatures could remain in the 100s.
Excessive heat warnings and advisories continue into the beginning of the week over much of the mid-Mississippi valley and southern states as an upper level ridge of high pressure remains firmly in place, the National Weather Service said Sunday night.
Heat warnings have been issued for parts of the Carolinas, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri and Ohio.
In St. Louis, forecasters warned of temperatures climbing to 106 on Monday.
A weak cold front will slowly drag across the eastern U.S. for the beginning of this week and provide some relief from the intense heat, but will also serve as a starting point for potential severe weather development, officials said.
Hundreds of daily high temperature records were broken this past weekend as well as many all-time high temperature records. Temperatures topped 109 in Georgia, the Carolinas, Tennessee and Kentucky.
About 2.7 million people remained without power for the second day after Friday night's storms, officials noted. About 545,000 were without power in Maryland; 643,000 in Virginia; 318,000 in Washington, D.C., and some surrounding areas; 600,000 in Ohio; 460,000 in West Virginia; and 122,000 in New Jersey, according to The Associated Press.
In Washington, D.C., summer schools were canceled for Monday, even as libraries and recreation centers were opened and community pools were made accessible for extended hours.
Maryland opened 74 cooling stations to give residents respite from the heat and was preparing hospitals and nursing homes to keep elderly and sick residents cool, according to Maryland Emergency Management Agency.
Utility companies said although they were bringing in crews from around the country to help, it could still take several days before everyone had power again.
Meanwhile, the toll from storms reached 17. Deaths from incidents related to the storms have been reported in North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Washington, D.C., New Jersey, Kentucky and Ohio.