Updated July 21, 6:45PM
Much of the United States continued to swelter Sunday as a heat wave that has claimed at least six lives blanketed large swaths of the country.
But forecasters say an end to the oppression might be near.
The National Weather Service said a cold front is moving from the Midwest toward the East Coast and will bring much needed relief along with severe storms and heavy rain that could cause flash flooding and produce damaging winds.
Events were canceled across the country, from festivals and concerts to sporting events. In New York City, temperatures were predicted to reach a high of 36.7 degrees Celsius Sunday, though it would feel more like 43.3 degrees Celsius with the humidity, according to the National Weather Service.
At least eight people were injured when a bolt of lightning touched down on a beach in Clearwater, Florida, local TV station WTSP reported. One person is believed to have life-threatening injuries after being struck Sunday afternoon.
The NWS advised people to check in on relatives and friends, especially the elderly.
During a span of three days in July 1995, more than 700 people died in Chicago, when temperatures rose above 36 degrees Celsius. Many of those who died were poor or elderly with no access to air-conditioning. Many also lived alone.
Temperatures have been rising in cities from the Midwest to the East Coast because of a high pressure system that has trapped the warm air. Local officials are allowing public pools to stay open longer and municipalities are issuing advisories to inform the public about how best to deal with the heat.