And spring is arriving with summerlike swelter. From eastern Colorado to central Missouri, temperatures Monday are forecast to soar into at least the 80s. In West Texas through much of central Oklahoma, widespread 90s are likely.
In recent days, many locations from the Desert Southwest into the Plains have established new heat milestones, which include:
- A record high of 90 degrees in Las Vegas and 99 degrees in Death Valley, Sunday.
- Two consecutive record high temperatures in Boulder, Colo., Saturday and Sunday
- Record highs of 95 and 96 degrees on Saturday and Sunday in Phoenix. A third straight record high is possible today. Through Sunday, Phoenix had hit 90 on seven straight days, two short of its longest March streak on record, which it could tie Tuesday.
- A record high of 87 degrees Sunday in Kansas City, its warmest temperature so early in the season.
- A record high of 92 degrees in Salina, Kan., Tuesday, its earliest 90+ degree temperature on record.
The abnormally warm conditions are a result of a large dome of high pressure at high altitudes which developed in the Southwest late last week and then ballooned into the Plains over the weekend.
A cold air mass from Canada will drop into the Lower 48 Tuesday and Wednesday, suppressing this high pressure dome to the south and west. Temperatures will return to near normal in the Plains, but remain much warmer than normal in South Texas and the Rockies.