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Last updated 12:11PM ET
March 6, 2021
Alabama
Alabama
Montgomery Heat Streak Ends At 12
(2007-08-21)
(APR - Alabama Public Radio ) - State health and weather officials say Montgomery's 12-day streak of 100-plus temperatures was broken over the weekend and a more important figure appears to have tapered off as well the number of heat-related deaths.

State health officer Don Williamson said staff at the department spent the day calling hospitals and coroners, and the death toll remained at eight Monday afternoon, but the count will be finalized Tuesday.

"The temperatures were a little lower over the weekend, but it's probably premature to say we didn't have any there could have been deaths that occurred and they haven't been reported yet. Ideally we'll know tomorrow," he said.

"The next big question is going to be about what is it going to be when the temperature goes back up."

Kevin Laws, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service's Birmingham office, said Montgomery's streak was broken with Saturday's 95-degree high, followed by 97 degrees on Sunday.

"The biggest reason that it stopped is they got some rain," he said. "When there's more moisture ... it takes heat out of the atmosphere."

The Montgomery run set a new record passing the previous mark of seven consecutive days set in 1990, 1954, and 1881.

Birmingham and Anniston's streak of 100-plus temperatures ended Friday with 10 days, while Tuscaloosa's was broken Saturday with 11 straight days.

The sweltering weather sent temperatures above 100 degrees for almost two weeks, and 39 counties were under a heat advisory at one point. Making matters worse is an ongoing drought, which led Alabama Power to cancel fall drawdowns at Lay, Mitchell and Jordan Lakes.

Laws said the chances of rain were "small and isolated" and temperatures were expected to be back in the low hundreds this week.

Williamson said people are still being urged to stay indoors in air conditioning, drink lots of fluids and avoid prolonged exposure to the heat. He said there have been 203 hospital visits in the past week for heat-related illnesses, and 48 of those victims were hospitalized.

"The recommendations haven't changed and certainly won't change until this passes," Williamson said. "While it's not 100-plus degrees right now, with the heat index, 97 degrees feels like 104 degrees. This is not a cool spell."

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