The season's first tropical storm skirted the northern Atlantic Coast Sunday, blowing cool rains into New England, but hot humidity choked Texas as the heat wave led to another ozone warning in Chicago and an air-conditioner shortage in Pennsylvania.
The National Weather Service said Alberto, the season's first Atlantic storm, passed Cape Cod heading northeast to Nova Scotia, Canada, and likely would be running out of steam by Monday as it moved farther north.
'This is a very small storm and its primary effect will be to maritime interests over the North Atlantic waters,' forecaster Miles Lawrence said.
The storm dumped thunderstorms on Maine and a cold front helped scatter the rain and cooler temperatures across New England, forecasters said.
Boston police, who Saturday assigned four extra supervisors and 20 additional motorcycle patrols to city streets to quell any disturbances that could arise from residents disgruntled by the 90-degree heat, were relieved that the temperatures dropped into the 80s Sunday.
But to make sure, Boston kept open air-conditioned schools for use by the elderly and anyone else suffering from the heat.
Heat records were set or tied in at least 11 cities in seven states, with the Farm Belt again suffering the most except for Texas, where hot humidity covered much of the state.
Waco, Texas, with a record 107 degrees, and Dallas at a record 106, felt even hotter with high humidity boosting the heat index -- the combination of temperature and humidity -- to over 110 degrees, the weather service said.
Nebraska again sweltered, with a record 104 at Lincoln and 101 at North Omaha, as did Iowa, where Sioux City had a record 101 and Des Moines a record 100. Kansas City, Mo., reached a record 102 degrees.
In Chicago, the relentless heat wave prompted the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency to issue an ozone warning through 6 p.m. Sunday for a northern portion of the lakefront. It was the 10th ozone advisory issued for the Chicago area this summer.
The agency said ozone levels reached an unhealthy level Saturday evening when a westerly breeze from Lake Michigan brought pollutants back into the city. People with heart and lung ailments were advised to minimize outdoor activity and smoking.
Chicago's high temperature reached 94 degrees Sunday following a high of 93 Saturday. Residents did get a bit of a respite from the heat overnight, as the temperature fell to 63 degrees.
Some stores in western Pennsylvania have been experiencing shortages of air conditioners with buyers snapping them up quickly.
At the Westmoreland Mall Sears store in Greensburg, Pa., manager Bob Callahan said he has been told his nearly depleted stock will not be replenished until mid-September.
Rain fell along parts of the Gulf Coast and the Southeast, and thunderstorms lined up behind a cold front expected to bring relief to the thirsty High Plains and upper Mississippi Valley.
The temperature in Portland, Ore., dipped to 51 degrees during the morning, tying the day's record low set in 1946. In western Montana, the low temperatures were in the upper 30s to mid 40s.
In Pittsburgh, Sunday dawned warm and sunny as the city celebrated its Pittsburgh Regatta, with Formula I speedboat races, a dead fish polo match and an Anything-That-Floats unusual boat race.
National Weather Service forecaster Patrick McDonald said the temperature Sunday morning was about 79 degrees, with a high expected of about 87.
'This is perfect, I would say,' McDonald said of the regatta weather.
'The winds are real light. It should be a beautiful day for the regatta.'
Crowds flocked to the city's Point State Park to attend the festivities that wrapped up Sunday, but the day was marred when a speedboat heading down the Allegheny River toward the Ohio River hit spectators on shore, injuring 22 people, eight critically, officials said.