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THURSDAY, AUGUST 23, 2007
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Day No. 12 above 100 in Decatur
Temperature may surge past century mark again Thursday

By Paul Huggins
phuggins@decaturdaily.com ∑ 340-2395

Decatur could tie another heat record Thursday if the thermometer passes 100 as weather forecasters expect.

It would be the 13th day of triple-digit highs in one month, equaling the unofficial record set in July 1902.

The state, meanwhile, remains in a hot grip, and death toll is up to 12 as of Tuesday, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health.

The weather should cool off a few degrees Friday and through the weekend, as more clouds move into the area, said Steve Shumway, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Huntsville.

The service will end its heat advisory at 7 p.m. Thursday.

ďBut itís still going to be in upper 90s,Ē Shumway said, adding that some areas will see isolated thunderstorms.

The only reprieve is that humidity levels are in the upper 20-percent range, and the drier air means heat indexes essentially donít come into play, he said.

The state health department reports that heat is the principal cause of 78 hospital admissions and was the reason an additional 274 people came to hospital emergency rooms for treatment this month.

Morgan is one of eight Alabama counties to report heat-related deaths, two being reported last week. None have been reported since then.

Decatur needs nine more days of 100-degree heat to tie the unofficial record for the most triple-digit temperature days in a year. That mark, 22, was set in 1936. On Saturday, Decatur broke the official record (set in Huntsville) for consecutive days at 100 or higher with 11.

The average high temperature this August is more than 99 degrees.

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