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Regional & National

Tenn. swelters in summer heat

August 5th, 2011 11:19 am by Staff Report

MEMPHIS (AP) — Torrid weather continues across the southern plains into West Tennessee, with an anemic rain chance the best hope of temporary relief.

The National Weather Service continued an excessive heat warning until late Sunday night, cautioning that the prolonged heat is dangerous by itself, but could also drive heat indexes to 117 degrees. That's the combined effect on people of heat and high humidity.

Authorities in West Tennessee have confirmed four deaths as heat-related — three of them in Shelby County and the other in Tipton County. At least two other fatalities are being investigated as possibly connected to high temperatures.

The longer the hot spell wears on, the greater the concern, said Danny Gant, a forecaster for NWS in Memphis. Gant said the effects of hot weather are cumulative.

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