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Summertime Grillin' from the Plains to the East

5/30/2011, 5:47:45 AM

Monday, 10:40 a.m.

Temperatures on Sunday jumped well over 100 throughout western Texas up to southwestern Kansas and into eastern New Mexico, as well as a couple of spots in southeastern Colorado. Slightly cooler, 90-degree heat showed up in parts of Missouri and southern Illinois as well, and with the upper-level ridge of high pressure that's helping to promote that kind of heat strengthening and expanding today and tomorrow, it only makes sense that more and more places will soar into the 90s early this week.

This ridge will reach its peak tomorrow, with widespread 90s from the southern Plains to the Ohio Valley and parts of the Northeast. However, much of New England and the mid-Atlantic coast will actually cool down a bit tomorrow as a weak cold front sliding across the Northeast this afternoon and tonight is followed by high pressure over New England tomorrow. The cooling won't be a lot, but it will definitely help sea breezes to develop, which will serve to keep temperatures in check along the mid-Atlantic and New England coasts. However, once you get north and west of I-95 from northeastern Maryland to New York City, and west of the Hudson, tomorrow looks to be every bit as toasty as this afternoon will be.

The grillin' continues Wednesday across New England and the mid-Atlantic. In fact, as the winds swing around more into the southwest and west with the approach, then passage, of a cold front, the marine layer will be erased, and temperatures will likely creep up a few degrees once again before cooler, drier air wins out Thursday.

The cooldown will be significant only from the standpoint that it won't be nearly so hot across the Midwest, the Great Lakes and the Northeast behind it. Notice I did not say it would be cooler than normal! Truth be told, there will be few places that drop that far behind the front, and those that do won't drop below it for much, nor for long.

Here's the position of the upper-level ridge tomorrow afternoon:

Everything is there for all to see - the ridge over the Tennessee Valley and the strong disturbance rolling out of the Dakotas and across the Upper Midwest, bringing the strong storm that was over Colorado this morning along for the ride. Once that all passes over the ridge and the cold front comes through the Northeast, the ridge merely pops up farther west, but notice the position of it Friday evening as forecast by the GFS ensembles:

That is not nearly as far west as the models had been implying late last week! So, as a result, another surge of heat will come right back out of the eastern Rockies and southern Plains toward the Midwest, the Great Lakes and the Ohio Valley. Here's a peek at the temperature anomaly forecast for Saturday:

The core of that area from Chicago to Pittsburgh is a whopping 15 above normal, and the GFS had no inclination this might happen a week ago! The bottom line is this: for much of the country from the central Plains on east, we've gone from needing umbrellas, sump pumps and jackets to fans and air conditioners! My, how quickly things can change at this time of the year!

I hope the rest of the Memorial Day holiday is a good one, and remember why we have this set aside as a holiday!

The views expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of AccuWeather, Inc. or AccuWeather.com

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