It’s not today. It’s not tomorrow. But starting Monday, east of the Rockies, the eastern 2/3 of the nation, especially SOUTH of Interstate 80, will be in for a long stretch of hot temperatures. It could be the biggest heatwave in years! Certainly, 2020 and 2021 saw some hot days but not extended periods of heat like what’s being predicted east of the Rockies.
All long-range models and ensembles are in excellent overall agreement. It will be pleasant and comfortable with lower humidity levels this weekend for much of the nation. But starting Monday the heat builds quickly across the Central US and the Southeast. Tuesday will be the hottest day for the northern Mississippi Valley, Great Lakes, and Ohio Valley. The Carolinas, Georgia, and the rest of the Southeast peak Wednesday and Thursday. The Great Plains heat peaks next Friday and next Saturday. Under the ridge with the most sun and the hottest temperatures, actual air temps (NOT heat index) should run somewhere between 100 F and 106 F. Heat Indexes will top out between 105 F and 115 F. There may be a few folks that exceed these numbers, but this is the general rule for next week.
One thing you get when you get a big heat ridge to form is a “ring of fire”. The storm systems forced to detour around the heat ridge can turn out massive thunderstorms, mesoscale convective systems, and even on occasion, Derechos, the most dangerous kind of thunderstorm with 75-125 MPH straight-line winds that resemble a tornado, do widespread damage like tornadoes but are really straight-line winds. These are just as dangerous. Across the northern Rockies, the northern Plains (Closer to the Canadian Border), the Great Lakes, and the Northeast (especially Pennsylvania and Upstate NY), will be the most likely to be in the “ring of fire” around the heat ridge and have the best chance of seeing these nasty thunderstorms. It’s over a week out but if the long-range (which is in excellent agreement now) holds up, there is a risk for an MCS and/or a derecho Father’s Day Weekend across the Great Lakes and Northeast. It’s several days out but file it in the back of your mind and DON’T FORGET AS WE GET CLOSER TO CHECK BACK FOR UPDATES.
The heat looks to extend beyond Father’s Day with the heat ridge moving back towards the east from the Central Plains, putting most folks east of the Mississippi on and after June 20th into a threat of lots of 90s and low 100s. Summer will be here full bore soon.
It has been several years since long-lasting heatwaves like this have come about. You’re almost guaranteed to hear about “this is all because of climate change” next week and the week after and stories about how this and all the problems with it is “your fault”. I’m telling you those stories are already written and set to fly. I’m also telling you as a Meteorologist with 25 years’ experience this is nothing new under the sun. We see heat domes in June and July. Not every June and July but we are due and it’s here. There will be hot days and lots of days above normal. Some records will fall. ACs will be strained. Power grids will be strained. But this is NOT the end of the world. Seriously.
Remember, CLIMATE is a 30-YEAR AVERAGE OF THE WEATHER. It’s not a singular event or series of events over days or weeks. Yes, long-term temperatures are rising. Yes, the weather is trending towards more extreme. Last June it was the Pacific NW’s turn for all-time record heat. Now, they can’t buy a warm day. There are patterns the weather follows. There is climate change. Climate is always changing. Just keep straight the now and the long term. And don’t get caught up in the hype. We will survive and be fine.
I’ll be here reporting on the heat wave and will start to zero in with more specifics for more cities starting tomorrow and lasting through next week. Just have the AC tuned and ready. And if it’s not, you might want to call your local HVAC company NOW. Like seriously, click off this link then call NOW. Operators are standing by.