It has been a blistering and record-setting week of heat across much of the country, and it’s not over yet.
On Monday, Minneapolis soared to 101 degrees, which was its first 100-degree day since 2018. On Tuesday, it was Milwaukee’s turn to experience the first triple-digit temperatures in a decade.
By midweek, the heat dome responsible for the hot temperatures shifted south and east, causing at least nine states east of the Mississippi River to register temperatures at or above 100 degrees Wednesday.
On Thursday, 30 million people are forecast to experience highs above 100, and 127 million people highs above 90, with the hottest temperatures expected across the Gulf Coast and northern Florida.
That’s where daily records will be smashed as cities such as Pensacola, Jacksonville and Tallahassee are set to reach the 100-degree mark for the first time since 2019.
In fact, Tallahassee’s forecast high of 104 will flirt with its all-time high of 105 degrees.
These hot temperatures, when combined with high humidity, will lead to dangerous heat index values. For cities such as New Orleans, Pensacola, Jacksonville and Tampa, it will feel more like 105-110, and potentially as high as 112-115.
The high heat is expected to continue across the central Plains and the South through the weekend, before trending cooler early next week.
Even with slightly cooler temperatures on the horizon, the damage has been done with widespread heat events over the last few weeks.
San Antonio and Houston are having their hottest June on record to date, with New Orleans, Pensacola, Tampa and Phoenix all in the midst of a top three hottest June to date.
This blistering start to summer is not great news with the majority of the season still to come. Historically, the hottest days of summer occur during July and August for the majority of the country.
Climate change is causing heat waves to be more intense, more frequent, starting earlier in the warm season and last later. Climate research reveals overnight temperatures, compared to daytime temperatures, are boosted even more by the warming temperatures.