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The south central portion of the country remained under the grip of a heat wave on Tuesday where highs reached into the triple digits. Oklahoma City was the hottest part of the Plains, with highs rising above 110 degrees at some stations.

Widespread triple digit temperatures were reported by mid-afternoon. The hot weather in the Plains was caused by a nearly stationary ridge of high pressure which has been in place for the past few weeks. West of that ridge, monsoon thunderstorms rolled into the Southwest and brought heavy rains to the region.

A plume of moisture streamed into Southern California and spread through the region. Flash flood watches were posted from Imperial County, CA through Salt Lake city in Utah. The Southeast also saw strong thunderstorms on Tuesday. Some storms contained near constant cloud to ground lightning, while others brought large hail, an inch or more in diameter and gusty winds to the region.

Thunderstorms were also reported in the Mid-West and central Appalachians. In the West, pleasant conditions were reported for most locations, with hot weather inland, and cooler temperatures and light fog along the coast..

TUESDAY'S WEATHER EXTREMES:

HIGHEST TEMPERATURE (DEGREES F).........................107 Oklahoma City, Okla.

HIGHEST HEAT INDEX (DEGREES F)..........................116 Cushing, Okla.

LOWEST TEMPERATURE (DEGREES F)..........................32 Truckee-Tahoe, Calif.

LOWEST WIND CHILL (DEGREES F)...........................27 Barrow, Alaska

HIGHEST WIND GUST (MPH).................................51 Miles City, Mont.

HIGHEST PRECIPITATION (INCHES)..........................4.81 Alabaster, Ala.

ON THIS DATE....... Stationary thunderstorms over Colorado's Big Thompson Canyon dumped up to 14 inches of rain into the canyon's drainage system on this date in 1976. A popular recreation destination, the canyon was crowded with thousands of people that day and at least 139 people were killed as a 20 foot wall of water rushed through the canyon's drainage system.

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