Autumnlike Chill Sets More Records in Central US, South

By By Alex Sosnowski, senior meteorologist
July 19, 2014, 10:46:41 AM EDT

More records were broken on Thursday across the central and southern portions of the United States as autumnlike air maintained its grip on the eastern half of the country.

More temperature records are likely to fall on Friday from the southern Plains to the Southeast with daytime temperatures not rising out of the 70s.

Hottest Air of Season May Replace Record Chill in Central US


Daytime temperatures on Thursday in parts of Kansas, Oklahoma and Arkansas failed to rise out of the 60s due to the combination of thick cloud cover and occasional rain.

The high temperature Thursday in Wichita, Kansas, was only 67 degrees, which is 26 degrees below average for the middle of July. To add more perspective, 67 is their average high temperature for the latter part of October.

Earlier in the week, temperatures failed to climb past the 60s F from the eastern part of the Dakotas, through Minnesota, northern Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan on Monday.

Minneapolis, home of the 2014 Major League Baseball All-Star Game, set a record low maximum temperature of 65 on Monday, breaking the old record of 68 set in 1884.

Forecast Temperature Maps
Hottest Air of Season May Replace Record Chill in Central US Next Week
INFOGRAPHIC: Dramatic Temp Contrast, Records From Midwest to Northwest

Nearly a dozen cities across the Plains set or tied record lows Tuesday morning including Omaha, Nebraska; Kansas City, Missouri; Rapid City, South Dakota; and Dodge City, Kansas.

The polar air continued to expand southward over the Plains, eastward across the Midwest and touched the interior South and Appalachians Wednesday and Thursday.

During Wednesday morning, record low temperatures in the books since the 1800s were challenged at Nashville and Oklahoma City. At Nashville, the record of 57 F, set in 1886 was tied.

High temperatures on Wednesday ranged from the upper 60s to the lower 70s from Chicago and Milwaukee to Detroit, Indianapolis and Cleveland.

Dozens of cities over the Midwest challenged record low temperature through Thursday morning. Fort Wayne, Ind., dipped to 48 degrees early Thursday, breaking the old record of 51 set in 1976.

A Sampling of Record-Challenging Lows Thursday Morning

Actual Low/Old Record (Year)
North Platte, Nebraska
48/48 (1900)
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
62/63 (1992)
Birmingham, Alabama
60/62 (1965)
Augusta, Georgia
60/61 (1967)
Pensacola, Florida
65/69 (1935)
Monroe, Louisiana
65/67 (1972)

Early Friday morning, the chilliest temperatures were found across parts of Ohio, West Virginia, Pennsylvania and New York state, where temperatures dipped into the 40s in some locations.

The temperature at Charlotte, North Carolina, came within 1 degree of tying the record of 62 degrees set in 1896 on Friday.

Amidst the cool air and spotty showers around the Great Lakes region, there is a risk of a few waterspouts.


According to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist John Gresiak, "The warmest waters, such as those over lakes Erie, St. Clair and southern Michigan, are most at risk for waterspouts."

As the leading edge of cool air slows and stalls, drenching showers and thunderstorms will occur over portions of Texas, the southern Rockies, southern Plains and lower Mississippi Valley, as well as parts of Florida into Friday.

The cool air is forecast to moderate over the weekend. During early next week, some of the hottest air of the season so far will build over the North Central states, while temperatures return to normal to slightly above average in the Northeast.

AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Kristina Pydynowski and Meteorologist Mike Doll contributed content to this story.

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