A historic heat wave, which has broiled the Rockies and Plains in recent days, is on its way east and southeast. By Friday, 18 states in the eastern third of the nation may experience highs above the century mark.
Before addressing the steamy details of what lies ahead, let’s examine some of the remarkable heat records which have already been set. Note that most of the records I’m highlighting are for monthly and/or all-time high temperatures.
We’ll start off in Denver.
The Mile High city soared to 105 Monday afternoon, its hottest June temperature on record and tied for its hottest all-time temperature. Today, it hit 100 for the 5th straight day , tying the record for most consecutive days at 100 or better. It has set or tied record highs on an amazing 7 occasions this month.
Not far away, in Colorado Springs Monday, the mercury reached at least 100 for a second straight day for only the second time on record (previous instance: June 23-24, 1954)
Heading east into western Kansas, several locations established June monthly heat records Sunday and Monday. According to CapitalClimate, on Sunday monthly record highs were reached in the towns of Goodland (109, tie with June 18, 1936), Hill City (114, tie with June 30, 1933), Tribune (109, tie with June 23, 2012, also an all-time high), and Colby (111). On Monday, Colby broke its June record set the previous day, hitting 112. And, on Monday, Tribune broke its monthly and all-time heat records from the two previous days, reaching 111. In other words, Tribune set new monthly and all-time record-high temperature on three straight days.
The heat extended into Southeast, Texas Monday, where Matagorda Bay soared to 102, the warmest temperature ever recorded in June. Houston Hobby Airport also reached 102 tying its monthly record high. To the south, Galveston touched 100 for the first time ever in June (and by extension, its earliest triple digit reading on record). (Source: National Weather Service)
The record-breaking heat even made it as far as Arkansas where Little Rock spiked to 105, tying its June high temperature record. (Source: CapitalClimate). Several other locations in Arkansas set all-time June highs according to AccuWeather.
All told, 107 record high temperatures were set Monday across the Lower 48. Of these, AccuWeather meteorologist Bill Deger said at least 6 locations in Kansas, Nebraska and Colorado established all-time heat records.
The heat is coming east
Steadily, the heat will bleed eastward in the coming days. Unlike last week’s heat wave, the core of the heat will not reach the Northeast, but will establish itself in the Tennessee Valley Thursday and then stretch into south Georgia by Saturday.
In its extended forecast discussion Monday, the National Weather Service painted a red hot picture for the southeastern third of the country:
LOCATIONS FROM THE CENTRAL PLAINS ACROSS THE MID-SOUTH / TENNESSEE VALLEY INTO THE MID-ATLANTIC STATES AND CAROLINAS ARE EXPECTED TO BAKE ...SIZZLE ... AND FRY THIS PERIOD DUE TO A BURGEONING WARM CORE RIDGE BUILDING ACROSS THE REGION
Temperatures in Memphis, TN may reach 100-105 Thursday and stay that hot through the weekend, at least . By Friday and Saturday, places like Raleigh, NC and Augusta, Ga are likely to exceed 100. Further north, Washington, D.C. and Baltimore will be just outside the heart of the heat dome, but will still see highs of 95-100.