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Mother’s Day 2018: Near-record heat, storms may interfere with many outdoor celebrations

By Kristina Pydynowski, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
May 13, 2018, 6:14:15 PM EDT

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Many celebrating Mother’s Day across the United States will have to contend with record-challenging heat or unsettled weather on Sunday. Nice weather will make the Upper Midwest and New England the exceptions.

Mother's Day May 13


Taste of summer to bake southern, south-central US

Sunday will feel more like the calendar has been flipped ahead to summer instead of Mother’s Day from the Carolinas and Georgia to Missouri and Texas.

"Hot and mainly dry conditions will continue across the South Central and Southeast states," AccuWeather Meteorologist Max Vido said. "Record-challenging high temperatures can create uncomfortable outdoor conditions for cookouts and get-togethers."

Temperatures soaring into the 90s are expected to jeopardize records in Raleigh and Charlotte, North Carolina; Atlanta; Little Rock, Arkansas; and Wichita, Kansas. As the heat also bakes the Ohio and mid-Mississippi valleys, St. Louis may break a record that dates back to 1915.

Records May 12


Humidity and sunshine will contribute to even higher AccuWeather RealFeel® Temperatures.

While many areas dealing with the heat will not have to contend with thunderstorms, those outdoors in western Texas will have to keep an eye to the sky. Late-day isolated severe thunderstorms may erupt.

Unsettled weather to spoil outdoor plans from central Plains to mid-Atlantic

"A boundary of unsettled weather will develop north of the heat from the Midwest to the Northeast, where rain and thunderstorms can put a damper on outdoor plans," Vido said.

More specifically, the wet and stormy conditions will focus from Illinois to Pennsylvania, New Jersey and the Delmarva Peninsula. The day will also start with showers tracking from near the eastern border of South Dakota and Nebraska into Iowa.

NE Sunday May 12


Much cooler air will prevent a repeat of Saturday’s severe weather from Philadelphia to Washington, D.C. However, a few heavy and gusty thunderstorms can erupt amid the warmer air across the upper Ohio River Valley.

Regardless of any severe weather, remember to seek shelter as soon as thunder is heard. The risk of being struck by lightning is then present.

More outdoor plans will be in jeopardy this week across the Ohio Valley and mid-Atlantic as showers and thunderstorms frequent these regions.

Pleasant weather to grace Upper Midwest, New England

Places from Minneapolis to Green Bay, Wisconsin, to Albany, New York, and Hartford, Connecticut, will enjoy some of the nicest weather conditions for Mother’s Day thanks to seasonable temperatures and a lack of rain.

Be sure to apply sunscreen before enjoying outdoor celebrations.

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Dry weather and some sunshine will also return to Boston and Portland, Maine, but a wind off the chilly ocean will hold temperatures to the 50s.

Downpours to be double-edge sword for Florida Peninsula

"A weak system west of the Florida Peninsula will deliver drenching rains to southern and central parts of the Sunshine State," according to Vido.

The tropical downpours will provide needed rain and wildfire relief from Miami to Orlando and Tampa on Sunday. However, outdoor plans can be spoiled and there is a risk for flash flooding.

SE Sunday May 12


The roof is likely to be closed at Marlins Park for the baseball game between the Miami Marlins and Atlanta Braves on Sunday afternoon.

Showers, thunderstorms to put damper on Intermountain West

Showers and thunderstorms will force anyone planning a picnic or hiking trip to celebrate Mother's Day from the Sierra Nevada in California to Montana and Colorado to keep an eye to the sky. Snow may even fall in the highest peaks.

Even though widespread heavy rain is not expected, runoff from recent rain and melting snow will cause flooding to continue along many streams and rivers in the northern Rockies.

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South of the unsettled weather, a gusty breeze may keep the fire danger elevated across the Desert Southwest on Sunday.

Anyone enjoying Mother's Day at Coronado National Forest in Arizona or Gila National Forest and Carson National Forest in New Mexico may want to reconsider grilling or setting up a campfire. Use extreme caution with any sparks.

Seattle to be warmer than Los Angeles

No umbrellas will be needed for Mother's Day festivities along the West Coast. Dry weather will hold, but it may seem like Mother Nature is confused in regards to temperatures.

Temperatures in the 80s will approach record highs in Seattle and Portland, Oregon, underneath abundant sunshine.

NW May 12


On the other hand, highs will be held to the 60s in San Diego and Downtown Los Angeles as cooler air from the ocean funnels in. Coastal clouds will gradually give way to some sunshine in Southern California.

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