Midsummer heat scorches southern states with July-like highs

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The calendar says May, but the atmosphere has advanced at least a month. A sprawling summer heat dome is stationed over the central United States, bringing temperatures 20 degrees or more above normal, with little precipitation. Tornado chances have leveled off in the Southern Plains, but wildfire and heat-related illness risks are increasing instead. And many more hot days are ahead.

Temperatures soared to 99 degrees in Kansas on Monday and 107 degrees in Oklahoma, setting a Sooner State record for early Mayaccording to Maximiliano Herrera, climate historian.

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San Angelo and Abilene, Texas hit record highs of 107 degrees on Monday, their hottest time so soon during this year. Abilene also did it on Sunday.

The heat in Texas has pushed electricity demand to midsummer levels, according to local media reports and Bloomberg News, but the entity that operates the state’s power grid has forecasted ample supply, reported the Dallas Morning News.

Further south, the village of Rio Grande in Texas’ Big Bend reached 112 degrees on Saturday, and the heat was also scorching across the border – Herrera reported a reading of 112.3 degrees at an elevation of 615 meters ( 2,018 feet) in Monclova, Mexico. Coahuila State.

Through Thursday, dozens of population centers from Texas to Wisconsin could well see records near or above 90 degrees, including Kansas City, St. Louis, Little Rock, Madison, Wisconsin and Nashville. Thursday could be the hottest day, with an area from Texas to central Wisconsin experiencing temperatures near or above 90 degrees.

The nation’s dominant climate is an “omega block,” or a tenacious weather pattern that results in a sort of atmospheric bottleneck. The clockwise-rotating high pressure stationed over the center of the country is flanked by a pair of counterclockwise-rotating lows, which interlock like meshed gears. That means neither system is in a rush to move, and while bad weather has gripped the Pacific and Atlantic coasts, a heat dome reigns over the plains.

High-pressure systems bring in sinking air, which compresses and heats up as it reaches the surface. During the warmer months of the year, they are often referred to as “heat domes”. They also deflect weather systems and storms to the north, allowing sunlight to stream in uninterrupted. May is typically a time of repeated bouts of severe severe weather, but with the exception of the High Plains, most of the south-central United States, including central and eastern Texas and Oklahoma, will remain largely storm-free.

The area of ​​high pressure is most intense where it is centered in Quebec and Ontario, where the greatest temperature differences from normal reside – readings near Hudson Bay are up to 30 degrees warmer warmer than normal. In the next few days, the heat dome will flow back a little to the west, anchoring over the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence River.

Amarillo, Texas will likely reach 100 degrees on Tuesday. Zapata, South Texas is expected to rise to 101, while Dallas rises in the mid-90s. Dallas’ average high in mid-May is around 82 degrees. Dallas will likely stay in the 90s through next week, with the relentless Heat Dome refusing to budge from its post.

In Oklahoma City, highs in mid-May are generally in the upper 70s, but will likely be exceeded by about 10 degrees each day for the rest of the week.

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By Thursday, widespread highs of 90 degrees will reach southeastern Minnesota and western Wisconsin, about 25 degrees above normal. Chicago is expected to hit the upper mid-80smissing 90 only because of the cooling influence of Lake Michigan.

Moderately high humidity will raise the air temperature by several degrees.

In Saint Louis, temperatures could exceed records Tuesday through Thursday, with highs in the 90s.

The 90s will break down somewhat south towards Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana through Friday, but the mid to upper 80s are still expected to extend as far north as the Upper Peninsula from Michigan.

How long will the heat last

Indications are that for the Mid Mississippi Valley and Northern Plains, the heat is going to take a break this weekend and ease off a bit. But for Texas, southern Oklahoma, southern New Mexico and Arizona? It’s even worse next week.

Tucson could climb into the lower 100 on Sunday and Houston into the upper 90. Heat indices could reach triple digits, with actual air temperatures reaching the century for more than 6 million Americans.

Beyond early next week, the overall pattern appears to support abnormal heat for some time, particularly in the southern plains and southwest.

Weather conditions in the central Lower 48 are more in line with what one would expect from mid-June to late June than mid-May. Amarillo, for example, reached 101 degrees on Saturday, earlier than it has since this record keeping began. Its first average day at 100 degrees is June 20. He broke the record by eight days.

Human-induced climate change contributes to making early-season heat waves more frequent, intense and longer. The same hot, dry pattern is also contributing to the incidence of preseason wildfires in the desert southwest, including in New Mexico, where the second-largest wildfire on record in the state has already burned 203,920 acres.

Over the next three months, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Climate Prediction Center predicts continued above-average heat to dominate the western United States.