It's been a summer that has brought 100-degree temperatures as far north as Maine and Minnesota.
In the South, it has brought tragedy to high school football as four players and a coach have died in a span of seven days.
Heat has been ruled a factor in three of the five. Pending autopsy results, it could be that all five were heat-related.
If all four player deaths are the result of heat illnesses, it would represent the most heat-related deaths in high school football since 2006, according to the National Center for Catastrophic Sports Injury at the University of North Carolina. And the season has is barely underway.
The NCCSI, which tracks sports deaths of every cause, reports there were 30 heat-related deaths of football players from 1995 through 2009, an average of two per year. The most were five in 2006. In 2002 and 2003, there were none, the only years that have passed without any heat-related deaths since 1995.
The NCCSI's position is that heat-related deaths are tragic because they are preventable.
In Little Rock, where temperatures hit 114 this week, Arkansas Activities Association executive director Lance Taylor was frank in an address to his membership on Monday.
"Any heat illness is preventable. Any heat illness is preventable. Period," he said. "You're going to have to step up and be the leader of your school and make sure your kids are safe."
On Friday, July 29, Miramar (Fla.)
senior Isaiah Laurencin died after collapsing during a workout the previous afternoon. Heat has been ruled as a cause of death, as temperatures were near 90 degrees.
On Saturday, freshman Tyquan Brantley of Lamar (S.C.)
died after collapsing at a morning practice. The National Weather Service reported a high of 101 in Lamar that day. Autopsy results are to be released Friday, the day of Brantley's funeral.
On Monday, Prestonwood Christian (Plano, Texas)
defensive coordinator Wade McClain, 55, died after collapsing during his team's first mandatory practice. Monday was the 31st consecutive day of 100-degree heat in the Dallas area. Heat was ruled the cause.
On Tuesday, two Georgia players died, one after spending a week in an Atlanta hospital.Locust Grove
offensive lineman Forrest Jones collapsed during a voluntary workout last week. He died of heat stroke, a coroner ruled, as the player's kidneys and liver stopped functioning and he fell into a coma.
Earlier Tuesday, Fitzgerald
defensive lineman D.J. Searcy died at his team's football camp near O'Leno State Park, about 25 miles north of Gainesville, Fla. He was found unresponsive in his room late in the morning after a practice and was pronounced dead about an hour later, according to several media reports.
In Ohio, another player remains in critical condition. Wauseon
lineman Dustin Snow lost consciousness during a lunch break at a Wednesday morning practice. It was unclear if heat was a factor, as the heat index was 83 degrees during practice, according to the Toledo Blade newspaper.
In wake of the Georgia tragedies, five metro Atlanta school systems canceled outdoor practices.
The Georgia High School Association (GHSA) released a rare statement expressing concern over the tragedies, but stopped short of any mandates.
"It is important to understand that the GHSA only sets the beginning date that practices may occur in every sport," the statement said. "The decisions about when to begin those practices and how to schedule those practices are left to the professional judgment of coaches and administrators."