More than 40 states will record highs in the 90s or higher this week as the massive heat wave baking the Plains expands its grip across the United States.
It is not unusual for temperatures this time of year to rise to or above 90 degrees in 23 of the 48 contiguous United States.
However, the magnitude of the heat wave is clearly evident with more than 40 states set to record a 90-degree temperature reading or greater on at least one day of this week. AccuWeather.com Meteorologist Bill Deger adds that several record highs are in jeopardy.
Monday is when the United States may see the greatest coverage of 90-degree temperatures as the dome of heat stretches from the Northwest's interior to the mid-Atlantic and southern New England.
The worst of the heat wave through at least Wednesday will focus on the nation's midsection.
The Plains will register triple-digit highs on a daily basis from Sunday to Wednesday. Temperatures will flirt with the century mark throughout the middle and upper Mississippi Valleys, which includes Minneapolis and St. Louis.
High humidity from the eastern Plains eastward will worsen the situation by causing AccuWeather.com RealFeel® temperatures to soar between 105 and 110 degrees.
RealFeels will even reach the 115-degree mark in some cases, such as in Omaha, Neb., and Kansas City, Mo.
Heat and humidity will also build Sunday into Monday across the Great Lakes and Northeast, setting the stage for severe thunderstorms.
However, the worst of the heat will likely come later in the week as the center of heat wave shifts eastward.
Chicago, New York City, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., could approach 100 degrees with temperatures feeling dangerously hotter due to high humidity.
"Unfortunately, each year people lose their lives in severe heat waves such as this," states Deger.
Deger continued, "It is imperative that individuals engaging in outdoor activities stay well hydrated and take frequent breaks."
As a large storm rolls out of the Plains and Midwest, a swath of snow, ice and travel disruptions will extend into the Northeast beginning during the latter part of the weekend.
February's record cold is expected to weaken across the East and Midwest heading into the month of March.
The weekend is setting up to be a slippery and messy one across a large part of the Plains and Midwest as a new winter storm rolls northeastward.
Residents in Spokane, Washington, recently caught sight of the unique phenomenon known as "hole punch" clouds that cause a gaping hole in the otherwise cloudy sky.
The week kicked off with a heavy snow expanding across areas of the Four Corners states before striking the South with snow and ice, causing treacherous travel from Shreveport, Louisiana, to Memphis, Tennessee.
Snowshoers across the country will descend upon Eau Claire, Wisconsin, from Feb. 27 to March 1 to compete in the 2015 U.S. National Snowshoe Championships.
Severe cold Arctic outbreak in Northern Plains with temps. 40 to 50 degrees below zero. But, at the same time, warm in the East; 80's in Carolinas: Charleston, SC - 86 degrees Wilmington, NC - 85 degrees Minneapolis, MN - -9 degrees/-26 degrees Medora, ND - -47 degrees Big Fork, MN - -44 degrees Thoeny, MT - -52 degrees Huron, SD - -39 degrees, February record
Belouve, Reunion (1964)
52.76" of rain in 12 hours (world record) (Feb. 28-29).
Nome, Alaska (1995)
Seasonal snow record of 108 inches set. The old record was 107.5 inches set during the 1931-1932 cold season.