Record-challenging heat wave to scorch the central US this week

By Kyle Elliott, AccuWeather meteorologist
June 05, 2018, 9:00:28 PM EDT

After the weekend featured a brief break from the heat and humidity across much of the central United States, hot and steamy air will return for much of this week.

The core of the heat will shift from the High Plains and Front Range of the Rockies into Tuesday evening to the central and southern Plains spanning Wednesday to Friday.

“High temperatures in many places will peak as much as 15 to 20 degrees above normal,” AccuWeather Meteorologist Brett Rathbun said.

Central US Heat 5 am Sun Static

Denver is one of the many cities that may set new record-high temperatures this week. The forecast high of 94 on Tuesday would approach the old record of 95 set over 70 years ago in 1946.

new records June 3

Temperatures are expected to approach or exceed the century mark every afternoon through Friday in both Amarillo and Lubbock, Texas.

Although temperatures should be near the 90-degree Fahrenheit mark in Bismarck, North Dakota, and Rapid City, South Dakota, early this week, cooler air is predicted to make a quick comeback by midweek.

“The heat across the North Central states will be short lived as a storm tracking across southern Canada brings cooler and less humid air for the middle to latter part of the week, along with a couple rounds of strong-to-severe thunderstorms,” Rathbun added.

One round of storms may threaten areas from North Dakota to northern Minnesota with gusty winds, downpours and isolated incidents of hail on Tuesday before another round of storms erupts across the central Plains at midweek.

Yet another round of storms should target the North Central states to end the week. Areas hit repeatedly by heavy storms will be at highest risk for several inches of rain and flash flooding.

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“Although the North Central states are not going to partake in a multi-day heat wave, the South Central states will not receive any relief from this heat wave through the week and possibly into much of next week,” Rathbun said.

The combination of heat and humidity will lead to AccuWeather RealFeel® Temperatures at least 5-10 degrees higher than the actual air temperature.

People spending prolonged time outdoors this week should be sure to drink plenty of fluids in order to stay hydrated and seek shelter in a cool place if signs of heatstroke or heat exhaustion are present. Some of the earliest warning signs of heat-related illnesses include dizziness, nausea, fatigue, headache, muscle cramps and a rapid pulse.

“The hot, dry conditions will also increase the threat for additional wildfires across the region,” according to Rathbun.

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The Ute Park fire in northeastern New Mexico has already charred over 36,660 acres of land, destroyed multiple structures and forced mandatory evacuations in Ute Park.

AccuWeather long-range meteorologists expect the overall weather pattern this summer to continue to favor generally hot and arid conditions in these parts of the nation.

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